When the umpires call ‘play’ in the final Test between West Indies and Sri Lanka, signifying the baptism of the Pallekelle International Cricket Stadium, a special cheer should be reserved for the man who made it all possible - D Somachandra de Silva, Chairman, Sri Lanka Cricket.
The only international cricket venue in Kandy was the Asgiriya Stadium, belonging to Trinity College. With Trinity requiring it for their sports activities, it was necessary for Sri Lanka Cricket to look to build a stadium elsewhere.
When de Silva assumed office in 2009, he visited the area having heard about the premises. The area looked uninhabited due to being allowed into isolation. The premises was in the land of the forgotten for almost three years after its acquisition in 2006.