Stadium not ready, Pune may miss date with IPL season 4 matchesIPL — By The Desk on February 9, 2011 at 2:44 PM
Indian Express: Cricket fans who were looking forward to watch IPL matches in Pune are a crestfallen lot. The Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium at Gahunje, which was slated to host the IPL matches, is not ready and no matches are likely be played there this season.
“The stadium will not be completed in time to host all the home games of the Sahara Pune Warriors in this edition of the IPL,” said Ajay Shirke, president of the Maharashtra Cricket Association on Saturday..
“April 30 was the deadline set for the stadium as per the original contract. After Pune was given an IPL team and they were interested in the ground, we tried to revise the completion date. But now, we won’t rush the project just to meet the deadline. We would not like to compromise on the ground facilities and will try to get at least a couple of matches at the stadium,” Shirke said.
Abhijit Sarkar, head of Corporate Communications, confirmed the matches will not be held at the newly constructed stadium and DY Patil will be the alternate venue. “The stadium will not be ready on time and up to five of the matches will be held at the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai. The final two matches will be held at the Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium provided it is ready on time,” he said.
Phase one of the project includes construction of a capacity of 44,000 seats. This includes construction of the south side stand which will house the VIP box, the press room, players rooms and the commentary box. The outfield will be sand based and thus will not be as affected by rain. “Even if there is a downpour, play will begin in 30 – 40 minutes,” said Shirke. There will be a total of 17 wickets – seven for the matches and ten for practice.
Meanwhile, the MCA Pune International Cricket Centre was unveiled on Saturday. Sharad Pawar, president of the International Cricket Council, unveiled the name of the venue. “I have seen stadiums all over the world – in England, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, South Africa etc – this stadium definitely looks to be one of the best in the world,” said Pawar.