The Torrington artificial hockey turf needs a long-outstanding upgrade to be in line with the international standards of the game says national coach Anruddha Bandara Herath as they prepare for the World Hockey League Round 2 that is scheduled to take place in March.
The Astro Turf Complex situated in Racecourse has been the hub for all the hockey action in the country catering to all the masses in the sport ranging from school to national level.
The Astro Complex established initially in 1991 was later refurbished and given a facelift a few years ago with a new state of the art pavilion constructed along with the resurfacing. The artificial matting turf was first introduced in 1991 and since then the turf has been resurfaced on two other occasions.
National coach Anuruddha believes that Sri Lanka needs to progress and be on-par with the international standards when it comes to venues.
“When we go overseas for tours, it is difficult for our players to adapt to the new playing surfaces. They are fast and different to what we have in here”
With the advent of new innovations in the sporting field, Sri Lanka has a task to adapt to the rapid changes in the international sphere to keep up with the sport.
Accordingly, the green turf pitches are taken over by new dynamic blue turfs that provide a faster and better agility and control for the players.
This change was also adopted in the Rio 2016 Olympics where the new water based hockey turf was utilized during the games.
Currently, Sri Lanka has only one artificial surface playing venue of such nature after the Matale playing surface was declared poor. The Matale turf that was constructed in 2000 was later refurbished for the South Asian Games in 2006.
Since then there has been no development in that area and the Matale Turf is currently in shambles without proper maintenance.
“Sri Lanka needs at least three artificial turfs so that sport will develop in the country. International hockey is all played in artificial matting and not on grass surfaces” Anruddha further added.
No Internationally acclaimed playing turf in Sri Lanka
According to the International Hockey Federation (FIH), Sri Lanka has no certified playing fields registered on par with the international standards. If Sri Lanka needs to attract overseas teams into the country for friendlies, they should put the focus on getting accredited with the right standards.