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Rediff.com  » Cricket » Motera stadium capacity increased

Motera stadium capacity increased

September 18, 2006 16:31 IST

Ahmedabad is readying to host five ICC Champions Trophy matches at the Sardar Patel stadium in Motera, in October. Work is in full swing and the Gujarat Cricket Association (GCA) authorities are having a busy time.

Last week, a couple of ICC officials visited Motera and made some suggestions, particularly about the wickets and main pavilion.

If the GCA authorities are to be believed, there is "tremendous enthusiasm" among cricket aficionados even though the Indian team is scheduled to play only one match in Ahmedabad during the extravaganza.

With increased capacity at the stadium, care is being taken to ensure spectator comfort.

"The spectators will get to enjoy the action sitting under a roof, because most the stands have been covered. The north and east stands have been rebuilt and converted into two-storied stands. This has enabled us to increase 5,000 new seats in these particular stands," GCA joint-secretary and media officer Hitesh Patel, affectionately known as Pochi, told rediff.com.

"We've made some changes in the main pavilion, too. Three sporting wickets are being prepared following instructions from the ICC. We've ensured better facilities for the media as well and prepared an air-conditioned communication room for journalists and commentators covering the Champions Trophy matches," he added.

The GCA expects a "jam-packed" stadium for all the five matches, because most college and school students will be on Diwali vacation at that time. The tickets for the matches too have been specially-designed, highlighting some of Gujarat's famous historic and religious places, like Akshardham temple, Gandhi Ashram, Jain temples and Didi Syed's Jali.

Haresh Pandya in Ahmedabad