Finally, the Chandigarh Sector 16 stadium will be able to host day and night cricket matches. It is all set to get floodlights by the end of August.
This stadium, where Kapil Dev, Yograj Singh, Ashok Malhotra and Yuvraj Singh grew up playing, has all other international facilities.
With the purpose of breathing a new life into the stadium, six floodlights will be installed by Bajaj Electricals Limited. The installation process is in full swing with bases of two poles already prepared. Rajinder Chaudhary, Superintendent Engineer said, “If all goes well we expect to finish the construction by August. Though there can be some delay because of the monsoons later.”
Till now, day and night matches were only played at the nearby PCA Stadium in Mohali. The project is likely to get a kick start with the All India J.P. Atray Memorial Cricket tournament to be held in September. Deepinder Singh is the coordinator of the BCCI backed JP Atray Cricket Tournament, which is backed by BCCI, said, “Usually we have the semis and final at the PCA Stadium under floodlights. And if Chandigarh Stadium acquires floodlights we will conduct semis and finals there. In fact, a lot of organisers are also interested in conducting day and night tournaments there. Floodlights will surely provide a new lease of life to the stadium.”
Harish Sharma, a cricket coach could not agree more, “The growth of cricket in the region will certainly get a push with the installation of floodlights which has been long postponed. There are floodlit stadiums both in Mohali and Panchkula, and now Chandigarh will also have floodlit stadium offering day and night cricket.”
The Chandigarh stadium hosted its last international match (India vs Australia) in 2007. Later, due to paucity of funds the Chandigarh Administration failed to install floodlights at the stadium. The stadium will attract more and more international matches once the floodlights are in place. Importantly, with floodlights installed, the stadium could also be the venue for Indian Premier League team Kings XI Punjab’s matches. The owners of the team had earlier turned the stadium down due to non-availability of floodlights.