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Sirsa stadium impresses players

cricket Updated: Feb 12, 2010 00:14 IST
Heena Zuni Pandit
Heena Zuni Pandit
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Forty-five days! No, we aren’t talking about the documentary on Demon Hunter, a famous band. It’s actually the number of days Shah Satnam ji cricket stadium was built in.

Back in 2004, the now lush green stadium was a wasteland on the outskirts of Sirsa. But when Dera Sacha Sauda, a religious sect based in Sirsa, decided to convert it into a cricket stadium, the task took mere 45 days.

On the 46th day, the stadium hosted an Indo-Pak veteran’s match. Interestingly, the stadium with a seating capacity of 35,000 came up without any expenditure. The followers of the sect came out in hordes for ‘kar sewa’; little concrete was used, except in the pavilions and the recently constructed stands, and that, too, was provided by builders without charging a penny.

The wicket at the stadium has been prepared as per the BCCI guidelines. “We water the wicket regularly, roll it and take care of the grass throughout the year,” said Charanjit Singh, the curator.

No wonder, the stadium has left the players impressed. “We look for certain things like good wicket, good playing conditions and decent accommodation.

“This place has everything,” said Delhi coach Vijay Dahiya. “It would be wrong to compare it with the CCI or Mohali. We are happy with whatever they have,” he said.

Besides, he said, the crowd here’s so disciplined. The stadium has hosted Ranji matches and a few List A matches in the last five years.

Delhi face Punjab

Delhi will take on Punjab in their next match on Friday. Punjab, who lost the first game against Haryana by just one run, are bringing in Mayank Sidana to strengthen their batting.

“It seems even 300 is not safe on this wicket,” said Punjab coach Bhupinder Singh (Sr). For Delhi, a medium-pacer will have to make way for Ashish Nehra, who has joined the team for the next match.

Squads

Delhi — V Kohli (captain), S Dhawan, M Manhas, R Bhatia, C Nanda, Y Nagar, P Bisht, A Jain,P Mehra, V Mishra, P Sangwan, P Awana, A Nehra, J Singh, P Suyal, U Chand.

Punjab — K Goel (captain), R Inder Singh, S Sohal, U Kaul, V Bhalla, M Singh, B Sharma, R Sharma, M Sidana, M Gony, J Singh, L Ablish, H Chawla, T Kohli, H Bansal, R Golu.