Cricket in the Kandy District dates back to the 1860s. It was mainly played then by members of a club known as Kandy Dancing, Boating, and Rowing Club. In 1896, this club became the Kandy Sports Club. The first unofficial Test was played in Kandy at the Bogambara Grounds in 1889. The Kandy Sports Club was an exclusive European club.
However, from 1920 onwards locals were invited to use its facilities. During that time Bogambara and Trinity College grounds at Asgiriya hosted overseas teams. August 1946 saw the revival of the Kandy District Cricket Association. Shortly after the Central Province Cricket Association (CPCA) was formed a trophy was presented by its president Dr. V.H.L. Anthonisz for competition among clubs in the Kandy District.
Sri Lanka’s Test era in Kandy began with a Test match on February 22, 1983 against Australia at the Asgiriya Stadium making it Sri Lanka’s third Test venue and the 54th Test venue in the world. Since this game almost every team that visited this island has played on this ground, till the last Test was hosted there in 2007.
Cricket continues to take pride of place at school level, though the club standards have dropped somewhat. The Kandy CC. Domestic club cricket is non-functional. There are some clubs that contributes little or nothing to the betterment of Kandy cricket.
At present, rugby is the most popular sport and crowd-pulling game. This is because Kandy SC is the one and only club out of Colombo playing the game at the highest level. They are the reigning club rugby league and knockout champions.
Football, however, is the common man’s sport. This sport still continues with limited resources and facilities. In the last eight years, football in Kandy has taken a back seat. Hockey at school level is a happy story, with most of the schools, especially girls’ schools, dominating the game.
Cue games, billiards and snooker, however, have also taken a nosedive with hardly any activity, today billiard rooms are used as stores in clubs, Only Mahnuwara YMBA is the active club in Billiard and Snooker.
Basketball has returned to its former position. Table tennis and badminton too are in good shape with participation at every level being more than satisfactory. Volleyball is at low ebb.
In recent times, Kandy has produced some impressive athletes, but the eye-opener has been swimming where Kandy has produced some top notch swimmers, especially at school level.