Cricket World Cup venues get an upgrade: imported grass, new fields, better floodlights

New LED lights are being installed at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai, and the area has been trenched to create two fields of red soil. In Lucknow, which is hosting India’s game against England, the fields, which received a lot of criticism during the IPL, will be redone. Seating and toilets are being repaired at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi.

Extensive work has already been done at the HPCA stadium in Dharamsala. The stadium could not host a test against Australia because the renovations were not completed, but it is now ready to host five World Cup matches, including India’s encounter against New Zealand. A new drainage system consisting of 6,000 meters of specialized pipes, an air extraction system capable of quickly ridding the field of excess rainwater, ryegrass, which is reported to be best for cold weather, was installed, and river sand and gravel tested in a laboratory in Scotland was used on the field. The ryegrass was first sown in winter temperatures of 3 to 15 degrees and mixed with the shade-tolerant grass paspalum, the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association said in a statement.

We resurfaced the entire stadium and also made repairs to the VVIP and hospitality boxes. We hired the best person for the paving process. We wanted to make sure we had good drainage facilities and purchased grass overseas. We replaced some seats and painted the bleachers. There was a problem with leaks, we fixed that too, HPCA member Arun Dhumal told The Indian Express. We wanted the game to start as soon as possible after the rain.

Each World Cup stadium will get a grant of 50 crore to upgrade its infrastructure ahead of the big tournament. The Indian Cricket Board has budgeted more than Rs. 500 crore to be distributed among the 10 World Cup venues.

Mumbai Cricket Association president Amol Kale assured that the Wankhede Stadium, which hosted the final in 2011, will have world-class infrastructure and the best hospitality.

The infrastructure upgrade process has already begun, including a new field, a switch to new LED lighting, corporate lodge upgrades and new toilet repairs, Kale said.

Maharashtra Cricket Association president Rohit Pawar explained that the current Maharashtra Premier League (MPL) gave them a fair idea of the areas in which the stadium in Pune needed improvement.

We look atm if we can make some bleachers that can be covered, since three quarters of the stadium has no roof. We want to provide basic amenities such as clean toilets, good roads, and enough parking spaces. If any seats are in poor condition, we will replace them. We will check to see if the metal fencing is okay and if the ticket booths are working. Our drainage system is fine, as are the floodlights, Pawar told this newspaper.

Delhi’s Arun Jaitley Stadium is renovating the spectator seats and restrooms and upgrading the ticketing software.

The floodlights in the stadium are of good quality, so we won’t have to replace them. However, the seats will be replaced and the restrooms will be repaired. The software on the turnstiles will also be upgraded so that the entry process for fans is seamless, said Rajan Manchanda, deputy secretary of the Delhi and District Cricket Association. He also confirmed that the field will be resurfaced during the off-season.

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