A swanky new cricket stadium built by inducting the good points of various top-class venues around the world is gearing up to host a few ties in the April 18-June 1 Indian Premier League.
D Y Patil stadium has almost been completed except for putting up the poly vinyl roof above its stands. It can accommodate 55,000 spectators in its bucket seats.
Vijay Patil, President of the D Y Patil University and Sports Academy, is confident that the stadium, housed inside a vast area of educational institutions run by his family, will live up to the expectations of the Cricket Board-promoted IPL.
"We have been shortlisted for hosting IPL matches and the Reliance Industries officials (owners of the Mumbai franchise of the IPL) have visited us. They were appreciative of what has been done here," Patil told PTI today.
"We will receive a final intimation (on hosting of IPL matches) shortly, but I am pretty confident that we would host some matches," said Patil.
He said that the completion of the roofing would be done very soon as all the material for doing so has already arrived
"We are hosting a Twenty20 tournament for the D Y Patil Cup for the fourth year here from March 4-11 (as a run-up to IPL)," he said.
Asked about the cost of building the stadium, Patil said that it had cost 100 crore but would have been double the amount had he undertaken the task of doing so now.
Patil is certain that such a facility would be a boon to citizens from in and around the area as also residents of Thane and Mulund just across the northern side of the Vashi creek.
"I wanted to build a stadium for cricket and my dream was backed by my father. This area - including neighbouring Thane, Mulund and Raigad, houses a population of 1.7 million and they can travel here and watch the top cricketers in action," he said.
Patil said that the soil for the pitch has been imported from South Africa and the outfield is perhaps the only one in the country with a base of sand which will facilitate drying in case of inclement weather.
"We started building it around the end of 2004 and it has taken three years to complete it. I had the opportunity to see varuious stadium like Lord's and the MCG (Melbourne Cricket Ground) and have taken the good points from all these and included them here," he said.
"We have carried out an innovation here, by bringing in 200 tonnes of clay soil from South Africa. One of our pitch experts is here from SA. It's perhaps the only ground in India with a sand-based outfield," he said.
"It will facilitate in draining of water very well as sand absorbs water much better than the red soil found elsewhere. It's there in Lord's and in the West Indies grounds switched over to them before hosting the World Cup," he said. (More)
"The media box, to house 150 persons, is also like a self-contained hospitality box which will have top class communications facilities," Patil said.
"There are also 12 exits placed right round the stadium. We have also opened a main entrance into the vast area housing the stadium from the (Mumbai-Pune) highway side too," he said.
He said that the intention is to use the various facilities the sports arena had, including a swimming pool and tennis courts, throughout the year and not allow to them lie idle.
"We want the facilities to be utilised throughout. We have not built this arena only with international events in mind," he said adding that the 30-odd residential rooms attached to it will be used to house domestic cricketers if and when it is allotted matches by the authorities.
Though he's passionate about cricket, Patil also intends to use the stadium during off-season to hold football matches.
"Like the MCG goes in Australia we have plans to use the stadium to hold football ties too. But that's for the future," he said.