The Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium in Jamtha is all set to host its 10th Twenty20 International in as many months with India scheduled to take on the visiting England side in the second match of the ongoing series on Sunday.
In March itself last year, the Jamtha Stadium, situated far from the city, hosted as many as nine T20 Internationals, most of them in the preliminary stage of the ICC World T20 Championship.
Among the nine matches was a lone game featuring India, against New Zealand, that ended in defeat for the home team before they recovered to reach the semi-finals.
Two other second stage league games were played as part at this venue in the World T20. The game between West Indies v South Africa saw the eventual champions registering a close win while the game between Afghanistan and West Indies saw the minnows win by six runs.
In December 2009, the venue had hosted its first ever T20 International - Sri Lanka v India which was won by the islanders.
India, who are 0-1 down, would have to buck the losing trend here to keep the series alive for the final T20 game in Bengaluru on February 1.
The game is set to start at 7 PM, as against the 4.30 PM start at Kanpur in the first T20I, but the dew factor is expected to come into the picture, albeit on a much smaller scale, according to VCA sources.
“There will be some dew but may not be to the extent it was feared in Kanpur, and that’s why it’s a 7 pm start,” VCA sources told PTI.
The stadium, because of its distance from the main city, did not attract huge spectator interest during the last few Test matches that was played against England in 2012 and South Africa in 2015.
“The stadium has a capacity of nearly 45,000 out of which all tickets for the game have been sold out barring tickets of higher denomination Rs 6,000, 8,000 and 10,000 numbering 1,956,” VCA sources added.
The match will be the first to be hosted by the VCA after it has adopted the Supreme Court order on sweeping reforms recommended by the Justice Lodha committee. Incidentally, VCA also happens to be the unit headed formerly by Shashank Manohar, ex-BCCI chief who is now the first-ever independent chairman of the ICC.
Manohar will witness the match at the venue, according to sources. VCA has also announced that all online ticket purchasers will be able to get their notification exchanged with match tickets at its old stadium in Civil Lines area, within the city only, and no counters will be open in Jamtha.
“On the last occasion there were some unruly scenes created by the online ticket holders at Jamtha, so this time we are making it clear that ticket counters will be open only at the Civil Lines stadium of VCA between 9 am and 4 pm, even on the day of the match,” sources explained.