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P Sara Oval: Only Asian ground where Sir Don Bradman played

  • Published at 07:57 pm March 21st, 2017
  • Last updated at 12:18 am March 24th, 2017
P Sara Oval: Only Asian ground where Sir Don Bradman played
The Tigers made it an occasion to remember, winning by four wickets. Safe to say P Sara Oval will forever be in the minds of the Bangladesh fans. The stadium is historic for other reasons also as this is the only Asian venue where Sir Don Bradman, the greatest cricketer of all time, has played in. Although Bradman never toured South Africa, India, New Zealand or the West Indies, he actually played in Sri Lanka twice, with the island used for many years as a stopover for Australian teams travelling to England. There is a picture of Bradman walking out for the toss with Ceylon captain Mahadevan Sathasivam, hanging on one of the walls at Mahadevan Sathasivam stand, situated on the south side of the ground. [caption id="attachment_53784" align="aligncenter" width="365"] Australia's Sir Don Bradman with Ceylon XI captain Mahadevan Sathasivam[/caption] Bradman's "Invincibles" were touring England for the Ashes in 1948. En route to England, Australia stopped at the island for a few days and played a three-day game against Ceylon XI. Bradman scored only 20 runs in that match, a letdown from his high standards, but the game was memorable due to a controversy. Australia claimed that the length of the pitch was short and later it was measured and found that it was indeed 20 yards, rather than the usual 22 yards. Later, while bowling, Australia bowled from two yards further from the original length of the pitch to avoid misjudgement. [caption id="attachment_53785" align="aligncenter" width="364"] Sir Don going out to bat[/caption] Tamil Union Cricket and Athletic Cricket Club has preserved those historical moments with photographs and souvenirs at Mahadevan Sathasivam stand. Big pictures of Bradman walking out for the toss alongside Mahadevan are the main attraction of the place, among other historic photos. The ground was modernised in the last few years. But the old scoreboard, described by Bradman as one of the most detailed scoreboards in the world at that time, remain untouched like the old days. [caption id="attachment_53783" align="aligncenter" width="469"] Arul Mary is believed to be the only cricket groundswoman[/caption] The ground was famous for having a female curator named Arul Mary who worked at P Sara for 40 years. She is believed to be the only female curator or groundswoman in the world. This venue also hosted a neutral Test in 2002 between Pakistan and Australia with the Steve Waugh-side refusing to tour Pakistan due to security reasons. Pakistan speedster Shoaib Akthar clinched a Test hattrick but Australia eventually won by 41 runs. This ground is historic for Sri Lanka as well as they played their first ever Test here against England in 1982. Sri Lanka’s first ever Test win also came at this ground when the home side beat India in 1985.