New Delhi: The Arun Jaitley Stadium will be undergoing a major renovation, worth Rs 20 to 25 crore, for the five matches it hosts during the ODI World Cup in October-November.
The venue, which hosted the second Test between India and Australia earlier this year, had copped criticism for not ensuring basic hygiene in the stadium premises, especially in the washrooms.
In April, it was revealed that Delhi was among the five venues in the country that needed a major revamp, following a Gap assessment from the Indian cricket board (BCCI). A gap assessment outlines the existing gaps between the current and ideal future state of an organisation.
The others were Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai, and Mohali, which doesn’t feature among the 10 World Cup venues chosen on Tuesday.
The game’s popularity in India has skyrocketed in the past 10 years with the BCCI making billions from broadcast rights. However, the fans are often neglected with most stadiums in India lacking basic facilities.
Rajan Manchanda, joint secretary at Delhi and District Cricket Association said their focus would be on making the fan experience pleasant during the World Cup.
“We thank the BCCI for awarding us five games. We need to improve the stadium infrastructure to make it a pleasant experience for the fans and will be focussed on that ahead of the mega event.
“We have planned a substantial upgrade in the facilities which will include changing of spectator seats, renovated washrooms, paintwork, and change in our ticketing software,” Manchanda told PTI.
The Arun Jaitley Stadium has a seating capacity of around 35,000 and Manchanda informed that DDCA will replace around 10,000 seats besides changing the 15-year-old turnstiles to enter the venue.
“We need to provide clean washrooms and hygienic food and water at a reasonable price to our fans. The strength of the housekeeping staff will also be increased. We plan to complete all the work by September 15,” added Manchanda.
He also informed that the teams from BCCI and International Cricket Council will conduct a recce of the venue, which will also include the pitch and outfield, in the third week of July. Though the weather is not harsh in October-November, the fans will have to sit in the sun as a major design flaw doesn’t allow DDCA to cover the open stands with a roof.
For the venue to have a roof, the existing structure will have to be razed down and built from scratch.
Delhi will host its opening game involving South Africa and a Qualifier on October 7. It will host its biggest game on October 11 when India take on Afghanistan. Afghanistan will also face mighty England here on October 14. The other two league games will be held on October 25 and November 6