Sri Lanka look into elephant menace at Hambantota stadium


The Indian Express

Date Published

See link for photo. 

Sri Lanka will appoint wardens to put a stoppage on elephants straying onto the pitch at Hambantota stadium as they host Zimbabwe for three one-day internationals at the venue.

The Hambantota Stadium has a capacity of 35000 and is located next to elephant sanctuary and will have experts during all three matches as told by a wildlife official to AFP.

“There had been a few instances when elephants broke through the fence and invaded the pitch at night,” said the official

“A jungle patch starts about 100 metres from the stadium and we are deploying 10 wardens to make sure that fans don’t stray into that area and provoke the elephants,” he told.

The stadium was built under former President Mahinda Rajapakse in 2009 but the stadium hasn’t come in much use due to its high maintenance coast and remote location. It’s not just the elephants who can be a cause of the problem at the venue but swarms of wasps that have taken up residence there have also caused problems.

The last ODI that was hosted at Hambantota was two years back. Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe are presently level at 1-1 in the five-match series after the home side rode on debut man Wanidu Hasaranga bagged a hat-trick. Sri Lanka later chased down the target of 156 runs by 7 wickets.