Sri Lanka eyes elephant menace at stadium
Menace at stadium: Sri Lanka is deploying guard games to prevent wild elephants from being diverted to the ground when the country is home to Zimbabwe for a series of days at Hambantota International Stadium.
Experts will be present for the three ODI games at the 35,000-seat stadium next to an elephant sanctuary, an AFP wildlife official said on Monday.
The stadium was built in 2009 by former president Mahinda Rajapakse Hambantota, but has received only a handful of games because of its remote location and high maintenance costs.
“There have been a few cases where elephants have crossed the fence and invaded the pitch at night,” said the official, who asked not to be named.
“A jungle patch starts about 100 meters from the stadium and deploy 10 guards to ensure fans do not stray from this area and make the elephants,” he told AFP over the phone at Hambantota.
He said there was a herd of about 25 elephants roaming the region, 240 kilometers south of Colombo, which is a potential threat to fans. This is not the first time the wildlife interrupted games in Hambantota – swarms of wasps that have had residence, caused problems.
The last ODI played at Hambantota was there two years ago. After a recent renovation, Sri Lanka Cricket has planned the last ODI three games against Zimbabwe at Hambantota.