AS PUNJAB Cricket Association (PCA) groundsman Babu Lal describes the grass-planting process to fellow workers in the three-layer seven-pitches area of the new International Cricket Stadium at Togan and Tira vilages in Mullanpur, New Chandigarh, a ground official descends the stairs to enter the ground from the under-construction players’ dressing rooms. Unlike the IS Bindra PCA Stadium in Mohali, the new stadium, which is almost 50-55 per cent complete, will have dressing rooms on the first floor with players walking on the ground and Punjab Cricket Association plans to host an international match at the new stadium in Sector 38-Baddi by next year.
“The stadium work has been going on within the targeted time-frame and if things go as planned, Punjab Cricket Association may host one of the matches of the yet to be announced Indian series to be held in October-November 2019. The first phase of the stadium will be fully complete by January 2020 and we will also host Ranji Trophy matches at the stadium next season. The basic infrastructure of the stands is almost complete with the South Stand and North Stand top floors almost in shape. The players’ dressing rooms are on the first floor and the players will come to the ground by the stairs. Besides, the dressing rooms will have sauna and gym facilities. Regular checkings are being done by the technical committee of Punjab Engineering College,” said PCA Secretary R P Singla.
The 38.2 acre stadium, where construction work began in January last year, was conceptualised by I S Bindra, then PCA president, and the new stadium will have six stands with a total capacity of 38,000. The two general stands will have a total of 18,000 seats. The South Stand will see a corporate pavilion having a capacity of 6,000 with South Pavilion and players’ pavilion having a combined capacity of 12,000. “This stadium will see the ground floor stand running through the stadium, offering more fans a closer view of the matches. The work has been ahead of the target and once the necessary permissions are given, it will be ready to host international matches,” said D K Bassi, Project Director of the stadium.
The stadium will also have 3 D Lite Poly Carbonate Sheet Roofing on the top of each three-tier stand apart from having eight ramps for the stands. There will be 30 corporate boxes in the South Stand apart from 20 camera points in the stands. “The Poly Carbonate roof will add a special touch to the stadium. In an emergency, the cricket fans can be evacuated in under six minutes as there are eight ramps and more than 20 lifts at the stadium. All the points for electronic coverage have also been made under the outfield and stands. The work on the outfield started along with the construction of the buildings,” said Jatinder Mohan, Project Manager.
The new stadium will also see seven clay-based pitches apart from a Herringbone water drainage system, one of the firsts in the region. The ground has been laid with Bermuda Evergreen glass with the pitches having Bermuda Selection 1 grass. “The seven-pitches area has been made with three layers of soil. It consists of 75 per cent black clay soil brought from Haryana with three levels. The grass-laying process on the pitches has begun while the grass-laying process on the outfield has been completed. We also have Herringbone water drainage system, which offers 30-minute drainage time in case of rains. The outfield also has a slope with a ratio of 1:100 and the outermost point being close to three feet higher than the pitch area. We may also decide to make red-soil pitches outside in the ground B and nets in future,” said Daljit Singh, Chairman, Grounds and Pitch Committee, PCA, and also the Chief Curator of BCCI.