The Shastri Maidan in Rajkot has been a real playground of champions for Saurashtra Cricket. In recent years, the likes of Shitanshu Kotak and Jaydev Shah have all learnt the finer skills of their trade at this fast deteriorating facility. For the Saurashtra Cricket Association though, there's a silver lining that in spite of difficult conditions, they're producing talented cricketers. They hope that hosting international matches will generate enough funds to help maintain their facilities and infrastructure and eventually contribute to a new state of the art stadium by 2007. "We want to build a ground where people can come for entertainment and enjoy a good day's game,aÂÂ said Niranjan Shah, Secretary, Saurashtra Cricket Association. A non-Test center of the BCCI rakes in about Rs 4 crores for hosting a one-day match and that is about how much Rajkot stands to gain from the sixth game of the Videocon Cup. Yet, being given the status of a Test center drives up the stakes, bringing in more money and along with it the chance to break the stranglehold of traditional cricketing centers over hosting the longer version of the game. "It is high time the board thinks about giving Test cricket to centers that are capable of hosting and we can all see the game played across the country,aÂÂ said Shah. There continues to be a vast difference between the facilities and infrastructure of traditional cricketing centers like Mumbai and Kolkata and smaller centers like this one. Yet, the Saurashtra Cricket Association and its center Rajkot will hope to gulf that gap by hosting more and more one-day internationals as they bid to eventually host their big game - their first Test match.
Topics : Cricket