Kanpur out, Ahmedabad to host first Test

Published: Wednesday, August 6, 2003, 20:58 [IST]
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Kolkata: Expressing dismay at the delay in preparing the wicket at Kanpur's Green Park Stadium, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has decided to shift the venue of the first cricket Test between India and New Zealand to Ahmedabad. BCCI chief Jagmohan Dalmiya said the decision to shift the venue was taken after the Board's grounds and wickets committee visited Kanpur and submitted their report. On Tuesday, Dalmiya told reporters in Kolkata that following a review of the progress of work at Green Park it was found that the ground would not be ready in time for the first Test, from October 8 to 12.

"There was practically no work at the ground for the last six months, and though it started only recently, it was progressing at snail's pace," he said. On July 29, Gujarat Cricket Association (GCA) supremo Narhari Amin told that Kanpur had given up its claim to host the first Test, and his body had taken up the challenge of hosting the match.

The Board president blamed the delay on a tussle between the Uttar Pradesh Cricket Association (UPCA) and the Green Park authorities. He said the committee also recommended that Kanpur should not be allotted any international match unless this dispute is settled. Dalmiya said because of the ongoing dispute in Kanpur it would be impossible to take up any effective work on the ground and wicket at Green Park.

The Board president, however, said the grounds and wickets committee's recommendations would be placed before the working committee of the Board for their approval, at their meeting in Chennai on August 20 and 21. Dalmiya said in view of the change in venue, the itinerary of the India-New Zealand series would have to be revised up to the first Test match. The New Zealand team is scheduled to play two three-day matches at Rajkot and Vizag before the first Test.

The second Test will be played at Mohali from October 16 to 20. The Board president said the committee also reviewed the progress of work at different grounds in the country where the work on re-laying of pitch has been going on. The committee, headed by former Delhi skipper Venkat Sundaram, expressed satisfaction at the pace of work at these grounds, he added.

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