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Saurashtra Cricket Association stadium ready to host India-Eng ODI match
The newly-built Saurashtra Cricket Association (SCA) stadium has a look, which would please cricket fans, players and officials alike for the ultra-modern facilities being put in place. The stadium provides good facilities for players - indoor net facilities, gymnasium with modern equipments built at a cost of Rs. 1.25 crore, and a beautifully designed oval media box for the press.

NOBODY WOULD complain about this state-of-the-art cricket stadium built in Rajkot. The SCA stadium will make its international debut by hosting the 1st India – England ODI match of the upcoming series on January 11.

Normally, when various stadiums are constructed, too much attention is paid to facilities within the stadium but not the pitch. But this is not the case with this stadium. Himanshu Shah, the media manager for SCA said, “The pitch is very cricket friendly. We have international standard pitch curator, Mr. Rasik.” So, if we go by the words of Shah, one can assume that the pitch is going to provide assistance to both the bowlers and batsmen, which many cricket lovers prefer to see – close contest between the bat and the ball.

So, Indian players such as Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina would benefit under such tracks as they love the ball coming on to the bat. Bowlers such as Shami Ahmed, Ishant Sharma and Bhubaneshwar Kumar, along with English bowlers can expect good rewards as they love true bouncy pitches.

Not only the players, but spectators would also enjoy the game. Built at a whopping cost of Rs 75 crores, the stadium boasts of world class facilities to make players, spectators and media comfortable alike. “The press box is oval shaped, like the one that you have seen in Lord's (Cricket Ground),” informed Shah.

Although press box hasn’t been copied but it draws inspiration from Lord’s Cricket Ground, Shah said. He explained that below the press box they also have an indoor net facility for cricketers. The oval shaped box at Lord’s does not have this facility, which gives it a slight edge over that, he informed.

The stadium comprises 26,000 seats for spectators. “There are three areas for spectators – the south pavilion, the east and the west end. There are 60 corporate boxes, out of which 18 boxes are in the south pavilion,” Shah said. The stadium has been constructed six feet above ground level so that fans could enjoy a better view.

Apart from this, there is a huge players’ area, which is also said to be “one of the biggest in the country”. The ground also boasts of day and night match facility with four light towers, which would be in full show during the first ODI. Niranjan Shah, SCA Secretary, who conceptualised the design of the stadium, needs a pat on his back.

“The land for the stadium was bought somewhere around 2005. On January 2006, the puja was offered for construction in the presence of Gujarat Chief Minister, Narendra Modi,” Shah said. It took the administration six years to complete the construction of the stadium, but one look at the stadium and people in Rajkot might want to say – it has been worth the wait.

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