Last day in Sri Lanka today, boo hoo. It has been an absolutely wonderful experience here and we were determined to enjoy our last day so we decided to head down to Colombo to watch the Sri Lankans take on the Bangladeshis at cricket.
It would be fair to say that while the number one international sport here is cricket the majority of Sri Lankans would prefer to watch a 20 or 50 over game but we were still excited about watching the first day of the test. So were the tuk tuk drivers who helped us get there, in fact the second guy in Colombo managed to weave the tuk tuk very skilfully through the traffic all the way across town to ensure that we arrived just in time for the first ball!
The game was being played at the Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu Stadium (just rolls off of the tongue) and while it wasn’t the biggest of stadiums it had bags of charm. We weren’t sure what tickets to buy but asked to be in the shade and were told that we could get tickets for 300rupees ($2.60)! Bargain! They weren’t really stands more buildings surrounding a third of the ground and when we got in through our gate we found about six rows of wooden benches terraced up next to the boundary rope with fans overhead to cool us nicely.
We found a spot and relaxed, it was really quite brilliant. We couldn’t believe that we were watching international cricket though it felt more like a school game. There wasn’t a huge crowd but enough to get a little bit of atmosphere and the only other sign that it was a big game was the presence of the TV cameras and the fact that there were televisions everywhere showing the broadcast. There were a couple of major differences between here and other test matches I have been to, firstly no-one was drinking beer here. Secondly the screen behind the bowlers arm while electronic couldn’t obviously be turned white so at the end of every over two men would hoist a sheet over it!!
We were enjoying relaxing and watching the game but the cricket itself wasn’t great and we watched Sri Lanka slump to 4 wickets down for not many before lunch so decided we had experienced enough and headed off into Colombo to do some last minute shopping. We found a huge department store which had loads of cheap designer brands as well as a few imitations so we were able to replace a few items which were getting a bit worse for wear.
Then it was back on the bus to head back to Negombo once again timing our arrival back to the hotel just before the afternoon storm!!
We had a lovely meal to finish our stay in Sri Lanka and we were both reminiscing about some of the truly great experiences we have had in Sr Lanka whilst also getting very excited about our imminent arrival in India! T
A very relaxed affair at the P Sara stadium!