Pune’s Nehru stadium moving back into contention as cricket venue | pune news | Hindustan Times
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Pune’s Nehru stadium moving back into contention as cricket venue

Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) president Abhay Apte claims that the stadium is under serious consideration to be used as an international venue again.

pune Updated: Oct 01, 2017 22:06 IST
Ashish Phadnis
MCA officials have also not allowed Ranji matches to take place at the Nehru stadium and have instead opted for venues like Aurangabad and Ratnagiri.
MCA officials have also not allowed Ranji matches to take place at the Nehru stadium and have instead opted for venues like Aurangabad and Ratnagiri. (PTI)

Nehru stadium – the city’s oldest international cricket venue, which has failed to host a big tournament for the last 13 years, is now finally likely to get a few matches next season.

Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) president Abhay Apte claims that the stadium is under serious consideration to be used as an international venue again. 

The stadium has been recently renovated by the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) at a cost of ₹6.5 crore, which includes ₹3 crore for the pitch and outfield restoration and an additional ₹3.5 crore to install floodlights for day and night matches.

The venue has been sidelined by the MCA for several years now and except for a few Pune District Cricket Association’s (PDCA) league matches and corporate cricket tournaments, nothing of note in terms of cricket matches has happened at the Nehru stadium. Currently, coaching academies, including Club of Maharashtra and Ranjane Academy use the ground to train budding cricketers. 

MCA officials have also not allowed Ranji matches to take place at the Nehru stadium and have instead opted for venues like Aurangabad and Ratnagiri.

After MCA inaugurated their stadium in April 2012, they started hosting their all matches there, completely ignoring Nehru stadium. 

When asked about the venue’s future, Apte said, “As per BCCI rule, matches will be allotted to venues owned by state associations. So Nehru stadium will not get any international or IPL matches. However, we would definitely consider it for other matches like MCA invitational tournaments. We have already referred this subject to the tournament committee. After their verification, we have no issues alloting any matches to this ground.” 

Balasaheb Thorve, chairman, Club of Maharashtra, co-owner of the stadium welcomed the decision saying, “We want the stadium to be used for cricket. We are happy that MCA is ready to allot matches to the ground. Now it’s the duty of PMC officials to make this process hassle free. It would be better if they give priority to MCA matches than having corporate or celebrity tournaments.” 

India-New Zealand ODI in Pune on October 25 

Pune cricket fans will once again get the opportunity to witness top cricket action when India take on New Zealand on October 25, at the MCA cricket stadium. The ODI is the third international to be played at the stadium after Australia and England.

Over the years, New Zealand has visited Pune twice earlier to play ODIs. In 1995-96, New Zealand played India in a bilateral series which went in the home team’s favour. India won the match by five wickets. 

Then, eight years later New Zealand lost to Australia in a Trans-Tasman classic contest. Australia won that game with just one wicket to spare in a heart stopping finish. Both these ODIs were, however, played at the old Nehru Stadium, located in the centre of the city. 

Ticket sales will begin on September 29 

Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) will officially open ticket sales for the forthcoming India-New Zealand one-day international from Friday, September 29, 2017 at 10am. Fans can procure tickets online via www.bookmyshow.com and physical tickets from two outlets in the city - PYC Hindu Gymkhana, off Bhandarkar road and the MCA's International Stadium, Gahunje. Counters at both venues will be open from 10 am to 6 pm. 

Tickets rates are as follows: West Stand and East Stand (₹800); South Upper (₹1,100); South Lower (₹2,000); South West and South East stand (₹1750); North West and North East Stand (₹1750); North Stand (₹2000); South Pavilion Stand A& B (₹3500). 

Corporate boxes with a seating capacity of 12 seats in per box can be availed at ₹6 lakh each.