The historic Ferozshah Kotla could soon face some challenge from a cricket stadium in Greater Noida. Kotla has been the National Capital Region’s foremost international cricket venue but that could change if a facility in Greater Noida gets an approval from the International Cricket Council.
International Cricket Council match referee Jeff Crowe visited the Greater Noida cricket stadium in Vijay Singh Pathik sports complex near Pari Chowk today for an inspection of pitch and other facilities. Crowe along with Dr MV Sridhar, general manager for cricket operations for the Board of Control for Cricket in India, spent an entire day conducting detailed inspection.
Crowe checked every little detail in pavilion, kitchen, dressing room, VIP sitting areas, the ground and pitch etc. He took a brief break and returned for inspection in the evening again to check lighting arrangements.
ICC inspection and certification is crucial for a stadium to be qualified for international cricket matches including One-Day-International (ODIs) and Tests.
ICC’s Anti Corruption Unit also inspected the stadium to ensure there will be no scope for betting during international matches. The Anti Corruption team checked whether cricketers’ area will not gain any direct contact with outsiders, said officials.
“ICC will issue accreditation certificate after a week. We are doing our best so that our stadium qualifies for ODIs and Tests. Till now we were eligible to host all kinds of cricket matches excluding ODIs and tests. Accreditation will enable the stadium to host cricket matches of top ten countries,” said Rajiv Tyagi general manager of the Greater Noida authority.
The Greater Noida Cricket Stadium has already hosted domestic and international games. The stadium has been built as per ICC specifications.
Constructed and managed by the Greater Noida Authority, it wants the sports facility to become eligible to host big ticket international cricket tournaments including ODIs and T20s. The stadium is already the home ground of the Afghanistan cricket team.
Crowe and Sridhar had inspected the stadium last year in December.
“ICC team had then suggested some changes to be made in seating area, pitch and dressing room. We have already made the changes as per instructions. So we invited the ICC team for an inspection again.
“We hope this time ICC will certify us to host more international league cricket matches,” said Tyagi.
A new cricket hotspot
The ICC had organised the Intercontinental Cup series from April 10-13 this year at the Greater Noida cricket stadium. Teams from Afghanistan, Namibia and Nepal participated in the tournament.
The Greater Noida stadium has recently emerged as a hotspot for national and international cricket matches. In December 2015, it hosted Ranji Trophy match between UP and Vadodara, and the Afghanistan-Zimbabwe Under-19 cricket series.
Officials said the stadium can seat around 8,000 people at present and the capacity will be increased to 14,000 in the near future.
The stadium has been constructed and developed by the GNIDA, according to ICC specifications.
The stadium, spread across 39 acre, is also equipped with a bowling alley, Olympic-size swimming pool, badminton court, skating rink, football ground, tennis complex, indoor stadium with a seating capacity of 6,500 and an athletic pavilion.