Seven years after hosting an international cricket match, the north-east will finally get to host another match, this time at the newly built Barsapara Stadium where the second T20 International between India and Australia will be played if things go smoothly.
Assam normally experiences slight to moderate rainfall during September-October with incessant rain and floods already gripping the capital city. But Assam Cricket Association (ACA) Vice President Devajit Lon Saikia claimed that the drainage facilities at the stadium were better than at the iconic Eden Gardens in Kolkata.
“Even if it rains for five days continuously, and the rain stops half an hour before the start of the match, we can have a full match. We have a better underground drainage system than the Eden Gardens and I am confident about it,” Saikia told IANS over phone.
The new venue is however, awaiting final clearance from the International Cricket Council (ICC) before the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announces the itinerary for the series, featuring five One-day Internationals (ODI) and three T20Is, starting September 17.
Saikia confirmed that former India pacer and match referee Javagal Srinath had inspected the Barsapara Stadium on Monday on the ICC’s behalf and a report is awaited.
Saikia also appeared optimistic that the 37,500 capacity stadium will get the green signal to host the north-east’s maiden international cricket match under floodlights.
“If you ask me about the preparations, more than 300 people are working day and night to ensure everything is in place by September 25,” Saikia said.
“Besides the ACA and BCCI, the state government has taken keen interest in developing the road and other facilities connecting the stadium. We are focussing on giving the final touches to whatever is left now”.
Asked about the security arrangements before the high profile tie, Saikia said: “We have already spoken to the state government in this regard and have got great support from the district administration in ensuring that the match is played smoothly.”
Saikia said the ACA will soon announce the sale of tickets (online) once the BCCI gets the clearance from the ICC.
The tentative date for the fixture is October 10.