Sri Lanka news September 7, 2014

Premadasa stadium set for massive upgrade

Sri Lanka Cricket is in the early stages of planning a substantial upgrade to the training facilities at the Premadasa Stadium, with indoor nets, a swimming pool and a dormitory for the cricket academy all being considered, CEO Ashley de Silva has said. The project is presently in the design stage, and is expected to cost around 100 million rupees (approx. USD $770,000).

"We hope to embark on preliminary work before the end of this year" de Silva told Sunday Times. "Hopefully we can put the plan together so that it will be ratified either in the next executive committee meeting or the one after that."

Players and coaches have felt that a swimming pool has been overdue for some time at the Premadasa Stadium, which is the primary site for the national team training ahead of any tour. At present, the team largely carries out its nets and gym sessions at the Premadasa stadium, and those who require swimming-pool training do so a few kilometres away at either Nondescripts Cricket Club or Sinhalese Cricket Club. On wet days, both the Sri Lanka team and touring sides normally head to the indoor nets at NCC.

The Premadasa stadium is also the epicentre for SLC's Max Cricket Academy, and a dormitory which will house around 30 players is part of the proposed upgrade. On-site living quarters are largely expected to benefit cricketers from outside Colombo, who have become increasingly central to the nation's top teams. A dormitory will allow those players to attend training from a convenient location, and prevent the need for frequent trips to their home towns.

SLC does not yet have a concrete timeline for the project, with the executive committee expected to decide the exact nature of the upgrade.

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. @andrewffernando