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SCG to get $191 million makeover before 2014 Ashes

The iconic Sydney Cricket Ground is all set to get a major facelift ahead of the 2014 Ashes series for a whopping $191 million.

india Updated: Jan 03, 2012 10:49 IST

The iconic Sydney Cricket Ground is all set to get a major facelift ahead of the 2014 Ashes series for a whopping $191 million.

As per the renovation plan, three spectator stands will be demolished for a huge state-of-the-art grandstand.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard and NSW (New South Wales) Premier Barry O'Farrell have announced $191 million for the upgradation of the Bradman, Noble and Messenger stands on the occasion of SCG's 100th Test match today.

The reconstruction work at SCG will begin in March and is expected to be complete in time for the Ashes series against England in early 2014.

The SCG celebrated its 100th Test match today when India and Australia squared off in the second Test of the four-match series, and Prime Minister Gillard chose the occasion to honour the historic ground by announcing the renovation plans.

"This is an exciting project, not only for Sydneysiders but for all Australians, who have grown up watching the New Year's Test and relishing in the history and tradition of the ground," Gillard said in a statement.

"Today marks the beginning of the next stage of SCG's development to ensure it maintains its rightful place as a world-class sporting facility," she added.

According to Gillard, the revamped SCG will also have the "largest video screen at any Australian sports ground".

Although the Noble stand will be demolished, it's famed clock tower will remain untouched as it is officially listed as a heritage item.

The refurbished SCG will have a rooftop terrace with views of the city skyline, 700-person dining room and secure player arrival area.

Among others, the media box and corporate suites will also be upgraded and new dressing rooms will be built.

The upgradation will also enhance the capacity of the ground, which also hosts Australian Rules Football and National Rugby League games, from 45,000 to almost 48,000.

The SCG, popularly known as the "grand lady", started as a military cricket ground in the 1850s and hosted its first Test match in 1882 between Australia and England.