Night cricket at Tata stadium soon

Floodlights at Digwadih venue to be ready by next week

By Praduman Choubey
  • Published 11.04.15
Floodlights (left) being installed at Tata Digwadih Stadiumin Dhanbad on Friday. Pictures by Gautam Dey

Tata Digwadih Stadium, one of three cricket venues of the coal capital, will soon be adorned with floodlights, marking a turning point in the lives of fans and practitioners of the game.

Work to erect four 65-feet light towers is already under way. Three are up, while the fourth will be ready soon. The installation, which began on March 18, is likely to be completed before April 18.

In all, 15 lights _ five of 2000W each and 10 of 800W each _ would be installed in each of the four towers to illuminate the ground at an estimated cost of Rs 25 lakh.

Tata Digwadih Stadium, 18km from Dhanbad district headquarters, is owned by Jharia division of Tata Steel. It is one of the three primary cricket stadiums of Dhanbad.

The others are Jealgora Stadium of BCCL and Railway Stadium of Dhanbad division of East Central Railway.

"Though the project was conceptualised two years ago, we began work on it recently," said Sanjay Singh, the GM of Tata Steel's Jharia division. He said given the electricity crisis at Digwadih, the lights would be powered by generators.

President of Dhanbad Cricket Association Manoj Singh welcomed the move.

"At a time when cricket is being played round the year, the new facility will be very helpful for organising matches during the summer season. Also, cricketers of Dhanbad will get the experience to playing under flood lights."

Established in the early 70s, the Digwadih stadium has seating capacity of around 10,000. Apart from hosting several domestic matches, including A and B division, and U-16 and U-19 tournaments, the stadium also hosted an India-West Indies women's ODI in 1998.

Bal Shankar Jha, in-charge of sports at the Tata Steel division, said the stadium would henceforth be opened up for hosting major tournaments at night.

"As steel towers are very costly, we decided to use iron towers for the installation of lights which helped us reduce costs by more than 75 per cent," said Jha, who is also in charge of the stadium.

GM Singh clarified that though local cricket associations were free to use the stadium, they would have to pay for the power consumed.

The Tatas are yet to finalise inauguration plans. "We may host the April 26 finals of the ongoing Coal Trophy, a tournaments of local corporates," Jha said.