Sports in Sri Lanka

Sports played in Sri Lanka

There is one main sport that Sri Lankan’s love, this, of course, this is cricket, however, Sri Lankan ’s also enjoy other sports which are played and popular such as rugby, badminton, athletics, football, basketball and tennis. We both also love cricket, and enjoy sitting at the local cricket ground supporting your local team, especially when the weathers are so great in the summer time.


Cricket is the number one sport played in Sri Lanka, top Sri Lankan players have come through the international team. It isn’t just the international games which will be seen in the country, but walking past a park in Sri Lanka a small game of cricket can be seen played amongst the children. We would highly recommend going to watch a cricket match at a famous cricket ground if possible as the atmosphere is incredible, they have cheerleaders, papara bands, and even Percy who is famous amongst the crowds as the mascot. We can see why cricket is the most popular sport in Sri Lanka, even we enjoy watching cricket when we are back home. The amount of people who come to watch a cricket match means the stadium is packed out to the roof.  Cricket is the first sport which the British brought to the country and it soon grew in popularity to what you see today.


Rugby is a popular sport in Sri Lanka yet not on as large a scale as cricket, but it is played in schools none the less and on a semi-professional level. It could be referred to as rugger in Sri Lanka and played in schools around the country. Rugby was introduced to the sport around the same time as India, but after cricket came.


Football is another popular sport played in Sri Lanka. There may be a small proportion of children having a kick around in a park. If you are lucky you may see a match being played between two teams. Football has not made it to the world cup, or Asian football cups, but was introduced to the country by the British when the armed services were stationed there.


Basketball is another popular sport brought to Sri Lanka much later than the other sports played, and was introduced by an American.


Golf was brought to Sri Lanka by the British they built golf courses for their own leisure, and again this is a small following but if you fancy getting a round in while on holiday, then you could find a few courses in the country, such as Colombo or Nuwara Eliya.


Sri Lanka does have some athletes in Sri Lanka which have competed in the Olympics and the Commonwealth but sadly do not win very many medals. We have seen Sri Lanka compete at the Paralympics in the UK at 2012, in which one bronze medal was won for a field event. Prior to this win, Sri Lanka has only ever won 2 silver medals in athletics.Outside of Sri Lanka cricket is the only game which is televised around the world, so it can sometimes be surprising that other sports are widely enjoyed. When we have visited Sri Lanka, we haven’t seen a lot of the other sports being predominant or played but this is more to peoples individual sporting interests.

Should you need any help or advice on sport in Sri Lanka, then please contact us.

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