Kanpur, Dec 2: City's Green Park stadium could lose its right to host the third Test between India and Australia, starting March 14 next year as the BCCI is unhappy with the slow progress of the renovation work at the ground and has set a January 2013 deadline for the UPCA to complete the work.
BCCI chief administrative officer Ratnakar Shetty and Suru Nayak, cricket operations manager, today inspected the Green Park stadium and expressed their displeasure over the tardy nature of work being done by the Uttar Pradesh Cricket Association (UPCA). The UPCA officials, however, have managed to convince the two senior BCCI officials and assured them that the ongoing work would be completed before the first week of January.
The BCCI delegation was received by UPCA's general manager Rohit Talwar and Anil Banodha, the deputy director of UP Sports Department. In his meeting with the two UPCA officials, Shetty cited a previous instance where the UPCA had informed the BCCI about their reluctance to host a game involving India as the spectators' stand was not constructed on time.
Shetty said that UPCA has to take a final stand on the issue of construction of its own stadium and give a written submission to the cricket board in the month of January that they have completed the renovation work at the ground and are ready to host the third Test between India and Australia.
Shetty, during his inspection of the stadium, was clearly unhappy with the players' dressing room and dining hall, which are in a dilapidated state and also discussed issues related to accommodation of match officials. There were also concerns related to the renovation of the pavilion block and spectators stands while a heap of debris could be seen lying unattended outside the stadium.
Shetty said that another delegation of the BCCI will visit the city on January 9 and 10 to inspect the ongoing renovation work and a decision to allot the match to Kanpur or any other state would be taken after the two-day tour.
He also informed that a delegation from the Cricket Australia will also visit the stadium to check its readiness for the third Test. Banodha assured the BCCI officials that the construction work would be completed by January 15 and the match will remain with the UPCA.
Talwar, while interacting with the reporters, said that the report of these two officials will be of prime importance in deciding the fate of Green Park stadium for future international cricket matches.
UPCA last played host to a Test match in November 2009 between India and Sri Lanka. The second ODI during South Africa's tour on February 24, 2010 had been shifted to Gwalior after it was reported that a section of the stadium, allotted for students, was not in a good condition.
If that humiliation was not enough, the second Test between India and New Zealand from November 12 to 16, 2010 had also been shifted to Hyderabad due to the ongoing construction work.