Ends: City End, Fort End
Home Team: Galle Cricket Club
Test History: 28 Tests; 17 home wins; 5 away wins; 6 draws
Last 10 Tests: 7 home wins; 2 away wins; 1 draw
Last 10 tosses: 10 batted first (8 wins, 2 loss)
Rated as one of the most picturesque grounds in world cricket, the Galle International Stadium is cornered on two sides by the ocean – and overseen by a 16th century Dutch fort. After making its Test debut in 1998, the ground was largely destroyed by the horrific tsunami which struck the region in December 2004.
With politics at boardroom level of Sri Lankan Cricket casting doubt over the ground’s future, it took donations from the likes of Ian Botham and Shane Warne – who had taken his 500th Test wicket here – to get the stadium’s redevelopment back on track.
It eventually completed its recovery in December 2007, when England took on Sri Lanka in the 12th Test to be played at the stadium.
Before the disaster Galle had been a stronghold for Sri Lanka, who had only lost to Australia and Pakistan as the spin-friendly pitch worked in the hosts’ favour.
Not surprisingly, then, Galle has been a successful venue for the veteran Muttiah Muralitharan. The ground will be remembered as the venue of the off-spinner’s 133rd and final Test match, a game in which he claimed a match haul of eight wickets to end his career with a record 800 Test scalps.
Last Time Out
Bangladesh were blown away by a massive century from Kusal Mendis who fell just short of a maiden Test double hundred.
There was another ton in their second innings from Upul Tharanga and the damage done with the ball was unsurprisingly inflicted largely by Rangana Herath.