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The island country of Sri Lanka, which won its independence in 1972, has been ravaged by various calamities in the past, both natural and man-made. But all these problems have never dampened the Sri Lankan spirit and their love of sports.

Officially, their national sport is volleyball, however cricket is by far the most popular sport. Rugby union also has a rather large following as well as football, athletics and tennis.

The Sri Lankan school system is quite active in the effort of keeping the country’s passion towards sports alive especially among the young.

Since the 1990’s the Sri Lanka national cricket team has emerged as one of the world’s best teams after winning the 1996 Cricket World Cup, even though they were viewed by many as the underdog. They have become more and more visible after taking the 2014 ICC World Twenty20 in Bangladesh, beating the crowd favorite and hosting team of India. They have also taken the Asia Cup in 1986, 1997, 2004, 2008 and 2014. They were also the runner-ups in the 2007 and 2011 Cricket World Cup as well as in the 2009 and 2012 ICC World Twenty20 as well as hosting the 2012 ICC World Twenty20.

Sri Lanka’s sports stars include Muttiah Muralitharan who is considered as the “greatest Test match bowler” by the Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack. Other most notable Sri Lankan athletes include Duncan White (hurdler), Susanthika Jayasinghe (sprinter), and Mohammed Lafir (billiards).

Below are details of sports, sporting events and sports people related to Sri Lanka. Is there something missing? If you know of something that should be listed here, please let us know.

Popular sports of Sri Lanka

  • Cricket, rugby union, football, volleyball, athletics and tennis

Sri Lanka Sporting Success

  • 1996 World Cup champions.
  • 2002 ICC Champions Trophy winner

Athletes from Sri Lanka

  • Muttiah Muralitharan (cricket)
  • Mahela Jayawardene (cricket)
  • Duncan White (hurdler)
  • Susanthika Jayasinghe (sprinter)
  • Mohammed Lafir (billiards)

Sri Lanka Sports trivia

  • Sri Lanka are one of seven nations to have appeared at all World Cup Cricket Tournaments.

Sri Lanka at major events

  • Sri Lanka at the Summer Olympics
  • Sri Lanka at the Commonwealth Games
  • Sri Lanka at the FIFA World Cup
  • Sri Lanka at the Cricket ODI World Cup
  • Sri Lanka at the Cricket T20 World Cup
  • Sri Lanka at the Netball World Cup

Past sporting events hosted in Sri Lanka

  • 1996 Cricket World Cup hosted by India, Pakistan & Sri Lanka
  • 2011 Cricket World Cup to be hosted in Bangladesh, India, Pakistan & Sri Lanka
  • 2012 Men’s T20 World Cup hosted by Sri Lanka

Upcoming sporting events in Sri Lanka

  • 2026 T20 Cricket World Cup co-hosted with India

Annual sporting events held in Sri Lanka

  • The Sri Lanka Sevens international tournament (Rugby)
  • Sri Lanka Football Premier League (Top division competition)

Sporting Facilities in Sri Lanka

  • National Institute of Sports Science
  • Sinhalese Sports Club Ground, in Colombo
  • Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu Stadium in Colombo
  • R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo
  • Mahinda Rajapaksa International Stadium in Hambantota
  • Pallekele International Cricket Stadium in Kandy
  • Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium in Dambulla
  • Galle International Stadium in Galle

Is there something missing? If you know of something that should be listed here, please let me know.

Related Pages

  • Countries list
  • Sri Lanka Travel Food Guide for Athletes
  • World of Sport Home

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