Delhi's premier cricket stadium - Feroz Shah Kotla - has had its international status restored, effective January 1, 2011, the ICC has stated. The development indicates that the ground is formally cleared to host the four World Cup matches scheduled to take place at the venue next year.
The decision comes shortly after a formal inspection by the ICC's pitch consultant Andy Atkinson, who looked at the pitch during the Ranji Trophy match between Delhi and Gujarat a few days ago.
The venue had been suspended as an international stadium after an ODI match between India and Sri Lanka was abandoned in December 2009. After just 23.3 overs, pitch officials called off the match because of "extremely variable bounce and too dangerous for further play". As an immediate reprecussion of the fiasco, the BCCI's grounds and wickets committee was fired.
Ever since, the ground has been in process of repair. ICC general manager Dave Richardson, said the body was pleased with the corrective work being conducted and believed that the pitches had returned to the stadard expected for international matches.
In order to protect the pitch ahead of the World Cup, the local administrative body has scheduled as little cricket as possible at the ground. It had also moved to Ranji Trophy matches out of Kotla.
"We want to keep the wicket in good shape, so [we thought] why not move the Ranji games to other grounds that are available," said Venkat Sundaram, the chairman of the BCCI's grounds and wickets committee. "There are 12 days of cricket scheduled for this track before the World Cup and they can lead to a lot of wear and tear on the wicket, with players running onto it with spikes. "
The last international played at the Kotla, on December 27 2009, was abandoned after 23.3 overs after the match officials decided the pitch was of "extremely variable bounce and too dangerous for further play". The immediate fallout of the fiasco was the sacking of the BCCI's grounds and wickets committee, followed by the resignation of their Delhi counterparts.