The showpiece pitch at the historic Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium in the Capital, which is being renovated for the hockey competition during the upcoming Commonwealth Games in October next year, will be ready by the middle of this December, nearly a month ahead of the test event -- a four-nation tournament to be played from January 13 to 17, 2010. This was announced by the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee here on Friday.

‘Best hockey stadium’

Commonwealth Games Organising Committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi said the stadium, which will have floodlights generating 2500 lux to cater to the needs of high-definition broadcast during the Commonwealth Games, will possess all modern facilities. He expressed confidence that it would be, as International Hockey Federation president Leandro Negre had put it, “the best hockey stadium in the world’’.

Noting that the stadium would have a sitting capacity for 20,000 people, Mr. Kalmadi said he was glad that the façade of the National Stadium, which was the main venue during the 1951 Asian Games and the hockey venue for the 1982 Asian Games, has been retained.

He also announced that the second pitch at the stadium would be ready well before the World Cup slated from February 28 to March 13.

Mr. Kalmadi went on to add that besides the two competition pitches and a warm-up pitch at the National Stadium, Delhi would have two more pitches at the Shivaji Stadium and the Yamuna Sports Complex.

“There is no doubt in my mind that the Commonwealth Games in Delhi will leave a lasting legacy not only for hockey but for Olympic sports,” he asserted.

The National Stadium is owned by the Sports Authority of India and the redesigning work has been carried out by the Central Public Works Department at a cost of Rs.201.11 crore.

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