Pallekele International Cricket Stadium, also known as Muttiah MuralitharanInternational Cricket Stadiumis a cricket stadium in Kandy, Sri Lanka. In July 2010, The Central Provincial Council in Kandy announced plans to rename the stadium to honour the legendary Sri Lankan cricketer Muttiah Muralitharan, but hasn’t officially done so yet. The stadium was opened on 27 November 2009 and became the 104th Test venue in the world in December 2010.
Location and background
The stadium is located about a half-hour drive east of Kandy. The stadium is wholly owned by Sri Lanka Cricket and has a capacity of 22,000.
Tillakaratne Dilshan and Upul Tharanga added a 282 run partnership for the first wicket against Zimbabwe on 26 March 2011. This is the highest partnership for the first wicket in a Cricket world cup match.
By dismissing Chris Gayle of West Indies, Sri Lanka’s Suranga Lakmal became the third bowler to take a wicket with the first ball bowled in a test match at a new venue, joining Kapil Dev of India and Imran Khan of Pakistan.
Shaun Marsh of Australia scored a 142 vs Sri Lanka in his debut test inning, the 16th Australian to score a century on debut. Shaun Marsh and Mike Hussey added 258 runs for the 4th wicket, the highest fourth wicket partnership in Sri Lanka vs Australia test matches.
Tillakaratne Dilshan scored a Twenty20 International century against Australia, becoming the second Sri Lankan to score centuries in all formats. This is the highest individual innings by a Sri Lankan in T20Is, and the feat sealed Dilshan as the first ever cricketer to score centuries in all formats as a captain.
Highest team total in T20I at the Pallekele is 215/3 by Sri Lanka against West Indies.
Highest Test individual score at the venue is 176 scored by Kusal Mendis against Australia in 2016. This score is the highest test score by a Sri Lankan in home soil against Australia and second highest against them by a Sri Lankan.While attempting to bat time for a draw on the fifth day, the ninth and tenth-wicket partnerships featuring Steve O’Keefe, Peter Nevill and Josh Hazlewood (Aus) faced a Test cricket record 25.4 consecutive overs without scoring a run.
Bowling figures of 7/107 by Lakshan Sandakan in the match is the best by a chinaman bowler on Test debut.
Pallekele has witnessed 3 Twenty20 International centuries, most at any venue – Dilshan (104), McCullum (123) and Maxwell (145).
On 7 September 2016, Australia recorded the Highest Twenty20 International total ever by scoring 263/3 against Sri Lanka, who previously held the record (260/6).
2011 Cricket World Cup
The following 2011 Cricket World Cup matches were played in Pallekele International Cricket Stadium. The first official international match was between Pakistan and New Zealand on 8 March 2011.A total of three matches were played at the venue during the 2011 World Cup.
2012 ICC World Twenty20
Sri Lanka hosted the 2012 ICC World Twenty20. Nine matches were played in Pallekele International Cricket Stadium
The stadium has been built for the 2011 Cricket World Cup along with Hambantota International Cricket Stadium. The first Test match between Sri Lanka and the West Indies was played from 1 to 5 December 2010. The first One Day International match at the venue was played between New Zealand and Pakistan on 8 March 2011. Pallekele is also the host for the Kandurata cricket team.
On 21 September 2011, it was announced that Pallekele International Cricket stadium would host nine 2012 ICC World Twenty20 matches.