Poor ‘lux levels’ (index to measure light intensity) at the Green Park Stadium in Kanpur may create problems for players when India and England face each other in their first T20 international game on January 26.
Despite alterations, including installation of additional 45 bulbs at the newly-constructed directorate and VVIP pavilions, the ‘lux level’ in inadequate --- against a required level of 5500 lux, including 3000 for the pitch, the present strength is 2000 lux.
This is the first T20 tie to be played at this venue that has hosted 22 Tests and 14 ODIs in the last 72 years. The UP Cricket Association conducted two matches of the Indian Premier League in May this year where the Suresh Raina-led Gujarat Lions let the people have a feel of the thrilling ties. Poor light, however, reportedly remained a matter of concern for players, especially during fielding near the players’ pavilion.
Though the players did not raise a voice then, there was visible unease. After the match, a host team player said the lights should be upgraded.
Floodlights were installed at the Green Park in 2002 at a cost of Rs 5.54 crore, but the venue could never conduct a day/night match because of the ‘technical glitch’. Last year, the first ODI of the five-match series against South Africa was played during the day, with inadequate lighting being the problem.
According to experts, even the ODI between India and the West Indies could have been organised at the venue under lights in 2013 but a reported ‘wrong construction’ of truss roofing of the directorate’s pavilion ruled that out. The roof has been creating a problem as it prevents light from one of the four poles from falling on the ground.
The state government spent Rs 26.85 crore on the construction of the director’s pavilion but the authorities allegedly overlooked the faulty construction of the truss roofing, which took three years to complete.
This lapse came to the attention of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG), which in its annual report in 2015, blamed the authorities for huge financial losses to the state government as matches could not be organised “due to ineffective lights because of faulty construction of truss roofing:”.
State government not impressed
New lights for the India-England T20 could have been installed on time, but the state government trashed the UPCA proposal (which would have cost Rs 16 crore), reportedly because the UPCA wanted to rope in a particular company.
“Such things always involve bidding and proper tendering, but the UPCA wanted us to allocate work to a particular firm, which was against the norms,” a government official told HT.
Meanwhile, UPCA’s nodal officer at the stadium, Anil Kamthan, denied that ‘lux levels’ would be a problem for the teams. “It’s too late to have new lights but I don’t think lights would be a problem,” he said.
“With the installation of additional lights, we have managed to raise the ‘lux level’ to 2,000 which is sufficient for the match,” he added.