Duleep Trophy 2017 season to begin at Lucknow’s new Ekana stadium

The Duleep Trophy 2017 season will commence at the newly built Ekana International stadium in Lucknow, which will host the opener and the final while Kanpur’s Green Park stadium will host the other two games.
The Duleep Trophy 2017 season will start at the new constructed Ekana International stadium in Lucknow, instead of the KD Singh ‘Babu’ stadium.(Hindustan Times)
The Duleep Trophy 2017 season will start at the new constructed Ekana International stadium in Lucknow, instead of the KD Singh ‘Babu’ stadium.(Hindustan Times)
Updated on Aug 31, 2017 08:26 AM IST
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Hindustan Times, Lucknow | BySharad Deep

The newly-constructed Ekana International Cricket Stadium in Lucknow is set to begin its official journey by hosting the 2017 Duleep Trophy matches in September.

The Uttar Pradesh Cricket Association confirmed that all four Duleep Trophy matches will be played between September 7 and 29 under lights and with the Pink Ball. It would be for the second time that cricket fans in Uttar Pradesh will see the use of pink ball in the Duleep Trophy.

“The opening and final matches will be played at the Lucknow Stadium while the remaining two matches are scheduled at the Green Park Stadium in Kanpur,” UPCA’s acting secretary Yudhveer Singh told HT on Wednesday. Singh and Rajiv Shukla visited the Lucknow stadium on Tuesday.

The Board’s Committee of Administrators (COA) had restored the Duleep Trophy, following Sourav Ganguly’s intervention, after the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had scrapped the tournament for the upcoming season when the domestic calendar was released. Following the directive from the Committee of Administrators, UPCA authorities, including IPL chairman Rajiv Shukla, gave their nod.

Lucknow stadium, which hosted a Ranji Trophy match in the 2016/17 season while construction was still going on, would host the opening Duleep Trophy (four-day) match from September 7 to 10, before hosting the five-day final on September 25. Kanpur’s Green Park stadium will host matches from September 13-16 and from September 19-22.

“We have been communicated the schedule of the matches. We are ready to conduct the matches,” Ekana Sports City’s director Udai Sinha told HT. “We have put our best efforts to create this stadium and we can even hold international matches in future,” he said.

In the 55-year-old history of the Duleep Trophy, Uttar Pradesh hosted the tournament last season when it was played at the Greater Noida Sports Complex ground.

India Blue registered a convincing 355-run win against India Red in the final and an unbeaten 256 by Cheteshwar Pujara in the first innings was the centre of attraction.

In terms of big matches in Lucknow, the KD Singh ‘Babu’ Stadium had hosted the 1989 MRF Nehru Cup match where Pakistan beat Sri Lanka by six runs. The only Test between India and Sri Lanka was played in 1993-94 where India won by an innings and 119 runs.

Lucknow has witnessed many women’s cricket matches, including a Test match in 1976 and many ODIs between 1995 and 2005.

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