Cricket is set to return to the IS Bindra PCA International Stadium at Mohali on September 20, with the Punjab Cricket Association adding to the cheer by giving fans the option of witnessing the action up close and personal from stands renamed after two local legends of the game — Harbhajan Singh and Yuvraj Singh.
The PCA International Stadium will host the first of the three match T20Is between India and Australia on September 20.
The Punjab Cricket Association renamed its famous Terrace Block after former Indian spinner and current Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Rajya Sabha MP Harbhajan Singh — who has represented India in 103 Test, 236 ODI and 28 T20I and picked up a total of 711 wickets in all the three formats. The North Pavilion of the stadium, similarly, has been named after Yuvraj Singh, who played in 40 Test, 304 ODI and 58 T20I matches for India and scored 11,778 runs, besides claiming 148 wickets in all three formats.
“In a historic decision, the PCA executive committee, under president Gulzar Inder Chahal, has decided to name the Terrace Block and North Pavillion stands after legendary Indian cricketers Harbhajan Singh and Yuvraj Singh, respectively. Both have been icons for Punjab as well as Indian cricket and fans as well players will be inspired on seeing the stands being named after these two cricketers,” PCA secretary Dilsher Khanna told The Indian Express.
Mohali’s international stadium was built in 1994 and is named after former PCA and BCCI official IS Bindra. The venue so far has hosted a total of 14 Test matches, 25 ODI matches and five T20 matches.
Khanna said the decision to name more stands of the stadium after other former cricketers of the state may be taken in the future, with the PCA also likely to set criteria and invite applications from other states on renaming their stands.
“Harbhajan Singh and Yuvraj Singh have been the most iconic players from Punjab. Apart from them, there are other famous players that Punjab has produced. The IS Bindra PCA Stadium has only a handful of stands as compared to other stadiums in India. So we primarily want to name the stands here after cricketers from the state,” added Khanna.
Incidentally, PCA had named a new International stadium at Mullanpur — which is undergoing construction — after former Indian Test cricketer and former ruler of Patiala, Maharaja Yadavindra Singh, overlooking the name of Lala Amarnath, one of the stalwarts of Indian Test teams in pre-independence and post-independence era, who hailed from Kapurthala.
“It is good that the PCA has named two stands after Harbhajan Singh and Yuvraj Singh. They should also honour former Indian cricketers, who have done the nation proud, by naming other stands,” said Bhupinder Singh Senior, former Punjab captain and member of the 1993 Ranji Trophy winning Punjab team.