The International Cricket Council (ICC) has agreed to organise a four-day I Cup series from April 10-13 at the Greater Noida cricket stadium. Senior teams from Afghanistan, Namibia and Nepal will participate in the tournament.
The Greater Noida stadium has recently emerged as a hotspot for national and international cricket matches. Last December, it hosted the Ranji Trophy match between UP and Vadodara, and the Afghanistan-Zimbabwe Under-19 cricket series.
“The ICC has agreed to organise the I Cup and a few more cricket events at the Greater Noida Stadium. This is another feather in our cap, after the Afghanistan-Zimbabwe series. We hope to host international sports events besides cricket and we are in talks with respective organisations,” Rajiv Tyagi, general manager of the Greater Noida authority, said.
A two-day practice match between Uttar Pradesh and Afghanistan on April 6-7 and two one-day international (ODI) matches between Namibia and Nepal on April 16 and 18 are also planned. The Greater Noida stadium is the home ground for the Afghanistan Under-19 team since last December.
Officials said they are finalising preparations for the two one-day internationals between Namibia and Nepal. “The matches have been approved by ICC. We are waiting for the final clearance,” Tyagi said.
The Greater Noida authority is also trying to host international tournaments, including ODIs and T20 matches among top ranked cricket teams.
“Jeff Crowe, former New Zealand captain and renowned ICC match referee, visited the stadium along with Dr MV Shridhar, general manager for cricket operations for BBCI, last December. They inspected the stadium and suggested corrections to get accreditation for hosting international matches,” Deepak Agarwal, chief executive officer (CEO), GNIDA, said.
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.
“Around 400 chairs have been added to the stadium. A VVIP enclosure and corporate box is also available,” Tyagi said.
The stadium, spread across 39 acres, is also equipped with a bowling alley, tennis complex, indoor stadium with a seating capacity of 6,500 and an athletic pavilion.