Dambulla Stadium is set to become a viable day-night venue again, after Sri Lanka Cricket announced plans to beef up the ground's floodlights ahead of the ODIs against Australia in late August. The lights upgrade will cost SLC roughly 50 million rupees (USD $352,000 approx), and will be carried out by DIMO.*
Dambulla had hosted day-night ODIs until 2010, but players had been critical about the lights' lack of intensity, which affected batsmen in particular. The venue's floodlights were later ruled to be inadequate for international cricket, as they produced substantially less than the 2500 lux of light required as a minimum by the ICC.
The upgrade will involve installing high-wattage lamps on the eight floodlight towers at the venue, as well as increasing the number of overall bulbs. Previous plans to carry out the necessary upgrades had not been carried through, but as the two Dambulla ODIs in the forthcoming Australia series have been scheduled as day-night encounters, SLC said it was committed to a solid deadline on this occasion. The first of the two games is set for August 28.
The return of day-night cricket to Dambulla is significant because it is one of only two limited-overs venues in the island's dry zone, and receives substantially less rainfall than grounds near Colombo and Kandy. The Hambantota Stadium is also situated in the dry zone, but is less accessible than the Dambulla venue, though Hambantota also has newer facilities.
*03.40GMT, July 7: The article had erroneously stated that DIMO had provided the floodlights for the Hambantota stadium. This has been removed.