Flamboyant cricketer Yuvraj Singh has said that Noida and Greater Noida have better cricket infrastructure than Chandigarh, his home town. The stylish southpaw, who was in Noida for the shoot of an ad film, said he sees no reason why international cricket matches cannot be held here.
Ranji Trophy and IPL player Pravinder Awana, the local Noida lad known popularly as the "Haraula Express", supported this thought. He told City Spidey that there is no doubt Noida and Greater Noida possess the best cricketing stadia in north India.
Awana said the only thing that needs to be amped up is the spectator seating arrangement. If that is taken care of, the twin townships could become two more international cricketing venues in the country. "If floodlights are put in place, the two venues could also host day/night matches," he added.
Noida Authority seems to be intent on transforming Noida Stadium into a venue for international cricket matches. SC Mishra, Project Engineer, Noida Authority, said construction work for spectator stands is in full swing and is expected to be completed by the end of June. Soon, this cricket stadium will boast a seating capacity of 25,000. It will also have floodlights to facilitate day/night matches.
A cricket academy to groom budding talent in the city is also being planned, added Mishra.
Greater Noida's Shahid Vijay Singh Pathik Stadium has already hosted a Ranji Trophy match between Uttar Pradesh and Vadodara last December. The match was originally scheduled to be held at Green Park in Kanpur but was shifted to Greater Noida as it did not have enough rooms to accommodate players and support staff. Deodhar Trophy matches have also been held in the Greater Noida stadium.
The present seating capacity of 8,000 will be increased to 14,000 soon. The stadium has been built by the Greater Noida Industrial Development Authority (GNIDA) in accordance to the specifications laid down by the International Cricket Council. It also boasts a VVIP enclosure and a corporate box.