|The manicured cricket stadium at Dhurwa, Ranchi, which IPL management’s Catherine Simpson and other officials check out from the gallery on Thursday. Pictures by Prashant Mitra
Boon blessed Ranchi’s International Cricket Stadium Complex in Dhurwa in October. And now, Bollywood’s Badshah is eyeing its IPL potential.
Officials of Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), the IPL team partly owned by superstar Shah Rukh Khan, on Thursday visited the stadium complex owned by Jharkhand State Cricket Association (JSCA) and declared themselves satisfied with the facilities.
Now, KKR may use the newbie Ranchi stadium — slated to make its big-ticket India-England ODI debut on January 19 — to host some of the IPL matches in the summer of 2013 as well as Calcutta’s historic Eden Gardens.
Though an official announcement is yet to come, the joint team of IPL management company International Marketing Group (IMG) and KKR undertook an impromptu recce of the newly constructed cricket address in Dhurwa and liked what they saw.
Team members from IMG included tournament operations director Catherine Simpson and KKR executives Mathew Joy, Abhishek Singh and Vijay Dahiya. Though the quartet remained tight-lipped before the media, JSCA officials said they flew back to Mumbai happy.
“The team made a thorough examination of the stadium, indoor cricket facility, pavilions and other aspects. They were very pleased by the sheer size and planning. The pavilions impressed them. They also appreciated the vast free spaces to enable large-scale parking arrangements,” said Manoj Kumar, JSCA official and local media manager appointed for the January 19 India-England ODI.
Before flying back to Mumbai in the afternoon, the inspection team also checked out prominent city hotels and hospitals — the third umpire to swing the deal for Ranchi.
The upcoming ODI has generated a strong buzz about Ranchi being the new cricketing pitch of the East.
In fact, Jharkhand’s cricket buffs are keeping their fingers crossed for a Team Dhoni win on the home turf on January 19 to get the tag of a “lucky stadium”.
If IPL happens, it will sprinkle generous doses of glamour, not to mention money muscle and star power, on Jharkhand’s cricket tourism.
In the beginning of October, International Cricket Committee (ICC) match referee David Boon, who led a two-member team to the Dhurwa stadium to inspect its capabilities, had given a thumbs-up.
Pitch, outfield, floodlight facility, dressing rooms and player security were some aspects that Boon examined. He had some concerns about lights but they were ironed out.
JSCA president Amitabh Choudhary had earlier confirmed that SRK would visit Ranchi to check out the Dhurwa stadium for himself. The superstar may land either on January 17 or 19.
Will King Khan turn cartwheels like he did at Mumbai’s Wankhede? Wait and watch.
Will Ranchi stadium get a slice of the IPL 2013 pie?