The newly built Greater Noida cricket stadium may by December-end host its biggest match so far. The Under-19 cricket teams of Afghanistan and Zimbabwe are likely to play three one-day and two T-20 matches here.
The Greater Noida authority is expected to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the cricket boards of the two countries on Tuesday.
On Saturday, officials of the Afghanistan cricket board (ACB) and the Greater Noida authority discussed technical and legal issues before signing the MoU.
“Discussions on signing an agreement with Afghanistan are in a positive direction. We hope that the two countries will practise and play at the Greater Noida cricket stadium after signing the MoU next week,” said Deepak Agarwal, chief executive officer (CEO) of the Greater Noida authority.
The stadium is spread across 39 acres and is located next to Jaypee Resort. The ground has been hosting local cricket tournaments for some time now.
“Ranji match between Uttar Pradesh and Vadodara will take place at the Greater Noida Stadium on December 1. It is the first big state-level cricket event being organised here. Now, Afghanistan and Zimbabwe under-19 cricket matches will offer a wonderful opportunity to the sports lovers here. We expect to host more international matches in the future,” Agarwal said.
On October 21, Australian cricketer Matthew Hayden and chairman of Indian Premier League Rajiv Shukla had visited the stadium and appreciated the facilities.
According to the authority, Rajiv Shukla, who is a top official in the board of cricket control of India (BCCI), had assured authorities of all help for hosting national and international cricket events here. On November 27, Mahender Singh Dhoni had also visited the stadium.
According to officials, around 1,000 students from Afghanistan and some Zimbabweans study in various educational institutions in Greater Noida and the matches between the two countries will be a major attraction for them.
“Cricket matches between Afghanistan and Zimbabwe at the Greater Noida stadium will be a treat for those
from these two countries studying here. Local cricket lovers will also get an opportunity to enjoy matches. We are
more than happy to host these cricket teams,” said Rajiv Tyagi, deputy general manager, Greater Noida.