May 25 2020
New sporting facility in the City of Nawabs
02 October 2018

Ekana Stadium set to host West Indies

For as long as one can remember, international cricket in Uttar Pradesh was synonymous with the Green Park Stadium in Kanpur. That monopoly, however, is all set to be challenged come November 6, when the Ekana International Stadium here would host its maiden international game against the touring West Indies.

The newly-built stadium in the state capital has already hosted a handful of domestic games through the last couple of seasons before getting the go-ahead for an international fixture.

Ironically, it took all these years for international cricket to arrive in the city despite it having better facilities, connectivity and infrastructure compared to Kanpur.

“Well, the Green Park is a historical ground and has hosted many memorable games but it is also a government-owned property. Not to blame anyone but the upkeep there has suffered because of the ownership and the monopoly,” a senior UPCA official admitted.

Ekana, on the other hand, has been developed by a private company (and owned on lease from the government for 35 years) and is part of a bigger sports city — built on Shaheed Path, the main bypass road connecting the city centre to national highway — designed to act as a one-stop destination for all sporting events in the city. Designed as an inverted bowl to try and ensure the public is as close to the action as possible, Ekana is also one of the largest stadia in the country with a capacity of 50,000 and modern amenities.

Drainage system

With pitches laid under the supervision of BCCI chief curator Daljit Singh, the ground is also claimed to have one of the best drainage systems in the country with the developers claiming there would be hardly any interruptions in games due to rain or wet outfield.

Green Park, on the other hand, suffered from not just an image issue and poor connectivity but was also criticised for faulty construction of VVIP boxes a couple of years ago.

UPCA secretary Yudhveer Singh insisted that Kanpur would not be ignored completely. “Of course, the Lucknow stadium is far more modern, impressive and well-built in every aspect. But we cannot completely forget Green Park either. As much as possible, we will try to keep a balance. But there is no doubt that the Lucknow stadium would be the first choice if there is an option between the two,” he admitted.

The city, in fact, was expected to host a few IPL games as well earlier this season but could not pending a final approval and completion certificate from the government authorities.



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