The Mahindra Sri Lanka Premier League is set to bring life to the city of Kandy, with the Pallekele leg of the matches beginning on Friday 17 August, with the encounter between Wayamba and Uva kicking off the proceedings.
Somerset Entertainment Ventures Chairman Sandiip Bhammer said, “We are excited about the eight matches set to be played at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium. It is one of the best stadiums in South Asia, and the cricket fans of Kandy and the surrounding cities will be able to witness top-quality cricket, featuring a number of international players including Shahid Afridi, Dirk Nannes, Jerome Taylor to name a few. Kandy will also be able to see the best of local talent, including top cricketing icons such as Muttiah Muralitharan whose hometown is Kandy, Mahela Jayawardene, Lasith Malinga and many more.”
The Mahindra SLPL is also expected to provide a boost to the economy of the region, with almost all the hotel rooms in the region booked up with the arrival of the visiting squads and spectators. Kandy Hotels Association President Rodney Armstrong said, “Kandy really comes to life during events like this, when there is an influx of tourists from across the country. The marquee events of Kandy have been the Esala Perahera and the Kandy leg of the Bradby Tournament. We are now excited to add another event to our calendar, and we believe that the Mahindra SLPL will provide added revenue to the region, through the various tourism-dependent industries every year.” He added, “We encourage all cricket fans from across the country to visit Kandy, and one its newest icons, the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium.”
National Curator Anuruddha Polonowita who also overlooks the Pallekele stadium added, “We have been preparing the stadium for this tournament for a while now, and the stadium is ready for all the cricket fans expected to come for the matches. The grounds staff has been working tirelessly to ensure that the pitch and the grounds are of the highest quality, and we are confident of seeing a number of nail-biting matches.”
Apart from the cricket, there are a number of festivities that have been organised before the matches, and the Sri Lanka Premier League is expected to add a lot of colour to the vibrant city of Kandy. The Pallekele matches will be held from 17 to 21 August and is expected to draw in crowds from all over the central region, as well as cricket fans from Colombo.