Courtesy of Nandasiri Jasentuliyane,** who was known to us then as N. De Silva
The “Galle Esplanade,” as it was then known, has been transformed since the playing arena has become a test ricket ground. It was, as now, oval-shaped; but there the resemblance ends. Note the old pavilion in the background of this photo from the 1930s.
This ground was the site of soccer and hockey matches as well — supporting two sites for such games. On occasions it was also site for çeremonial’contests marking vesak or other special days …. and even supported a hackery race or two …. and even, on one rare occasion, an elephant race involving domesticated elephants.
More centrally from a personal point of view, the Galle Esplanade was the home ground of my beloved St. Aloysius College and therefore was the spot to which I went every evening in term-time for my sporting endeavours.
The simplicity and beauty of the site was enhanced by the evergreen hedge at waist-height that fenced it. The hedge had entrance-points in the south, north and north. This meant that anyone and everyone could walk through the arena from the south to the north-western bus stand area,.