Delhi gears up for second Test

Delhi's Ferozeshah Kotla stadium is preparing to host an international match.

Updated: February 25, 2007 10:53 IST
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New Delhi:Delhi's Ferozeshah Kotla stadium is preparing to host the second Test between India and Sri Lanka. However, once again the Delhi District Cricket Association is facing an uphill task of getting the requisite no-objection certificates from various Delhi authorities. This time the delay comes from the fire services, which have given the DDCA 96 hours to comply with their requirements. But Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dixit inspected the ground today and seems to have been convinced to make an exception one more time. Kotla last hosted a Test match in March 2002, when India took on Zimbabwe. Immediately thereafter, the stadium went under a process of renovation and upgradation. However, an extremely slow pace of work took its toll and three years down the line, the stadium is still incomplete. “It is not easy to build a stadium having a capacity of over 50,000 people in two years. It certainly takes more time than what is needed for a TV programme,” says Arun Jaitley, President, Delhi District Cricket Association. Even though the stadium capacity has increased marginally from 30,000 to 35,000 since the last match in April, the association is not hopeful of a huge crowd turnout for the India-Lanka Test - an argument which Jaitley is using to convince various authorities for the NOC. The sight of Kotla racing against time before hosting an international match is nothing new. But it is not always easy to get all the work done when you have a BJP leader as the president of your association and a Congress Government at the Centre.

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