There is reason for Greater Noida residents to be proud. The newly built Shaheed Vijay Singh Pathik Sports Stadium is all set to host its first set of international matches in April. The stadium, which is the home ground of the Afghanistan cricket team, will host matches between Afghanistan, Namibia and Nepal. An MoU has been signed between the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the Afghanistan Cricket Board to this effect.
Deepak Agarwal, CEO of Greater Noida Industrial Development Authority (GNIDA), told City Spidey that a four-day series will be played between Afghanistan and Namibia from April 10 to 13. Two one-day matches between Namibia and Nepal are also scheduled for April 16 and April 18. The matches have already been approved by the International Cricket Council (ICC), he said. Before this, a two-day practice match between Uttar Pradesh and Afghanistan will be played on April 6-7.
Agarwal added that former New Zealand captain Jeff Crowe, who is now an ICC match referee, and Dr MV Shridhar, general manager of the BCCI, have already visited the stadium in December.
The Greater Noida stadium currently has a seating capacity of 8,000, which is in the process of being enhanced to 14,000. GNIDA has constructed and developed it according to ICC specifications. Facilities such as a VVIP enclosure and a corporate box will also be made available at the ground. The stadium, which is spread across 39 acres, is also equipped with a bowling alley, a tennis complex, an indoor stadium with a seating capacity of 6,500, and a pavilion for athletes.
The ground has been hosting local cricket tournaments for some time now. In December last year, it hosted the UP-Vadodara Ranji Trophy match. Earlier, a few other Ranji matches have also been played here.