April 1 opening date,says MCA president Shirke
International Cricket Council (ICC) President Sharad Pawar will inaugurate the Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium in Gahunje,Pune on April 1. The stadium under the Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) will be host to home matches of the Pune Warriors IPL team.
The IPL matches will start on April 6. Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday Ajay Shirke,President,MCA,said,The inaugural function will be held in presence of ICC President Sharad Pawar,Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar. Subrata Roy,Chairman,Sahara India Pariwar will also be present.
The construction of the stadium had been on for the last two-and-a-half years and it had faced various problems before completion in December. The Ranji Trophy match between Maharashtra and Himachal Pradesh was the first to be held in the stadium on December 21. In addition,a few practice matches were played. Shirke added All IPL home matches of Sahara Pune Warriors will be held here. A playoff between the first and the second place teams will also be played here on May 22. We have even applied for test match accreditation for the ground and by the end of the year formalities for the same will be over.
BCCI has promised that the stadium will host the first match when any touring side comes to India.
The stadium has been constructed by M/S Shapoorji Pallonji and Company and its rainwater drainage system is one of the first in the country. At present,with completion of phase one of the stadium,45,000 spectators can be accommodated at the venue. The roads leading to the stadium from both sides of the Mumbai-Pune expressway have also been completed. The parking facility at the venue can accommodate close to 3,500 cars and over 12,000 two-wheelers.
The cleaning and washing of the premises and testing the facilities are still on. The drainage system,lights,giant screens,waste disposal and in-house sewage disposal facilities are all up and running. We are also in discussions with the environment ministry wherein we would like to take care of the hill that overlooks the north stand. We plan to pump water and plant trees on the hill and maintain it all year round, he added. The first phase,he said,cost Rs 260 crore. The final media house,the extension of the east and west stands and an additional 7,000 seats will be completed in phase two that will begin after the IPL matches.
The Pune Warriors have been at the venue and have started practising here, he added.