For fans of Trinidadian all-rounder Kieron Adrian Pollard, who enthralled cricket lovers with his pyrotechnics during the Indian Premier League, there is reason to cheer. In just over a month from now, they can catch him in action — live in the city.
The meeting of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) fixtures committee held on Tuesday brought good news for cricket aficionados in the city as the Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium at Kaloor was selected the venue for the first One Day International between India and West Indies on November 21.
It will be a day-and-night match.
Cricket and the city
The current year seems to be getting better and better for the game in the city. It started off with an ODI between India and England, which the hosts won by a handsome margin, on January 15.
The city figured prominently in the domestic competitions as well as it hosted the home matches of Kerala in Ranji trophy besides hosting the Duleep Trophy semi-final clash between North Zone and East Zone from October 10 to 13. This will be followed by the five-day summit clash between North Zone and the South Zone that will get underway from Thursday.
“We are holding two ODIs in a single calendar year for the first time. The central council of the Kerala Cricket Association will be held on October 20. Organising committee for the ODI will be formed on the same day and we will go about the arrangements, including ticketing, on a war footing as exactly a month will be left for the match after the meeting,” KCA president T.C. Mathew told The Hindu. He said the pitch at the Kaloor stadium is best suited for ODIs.
West Indies will be the sixth international team, besides India, to be hosted by the city.
The city has already hosted Australia, England, Pakistan, South Africa and Zimbabwe.
Fans have turned each one of the seven ODIs held in the city into a big festival with their enthusiastic participation.
Fans coming from far off districts often choose to stay overnight at the stadium or nearby areas to be the first ones to be let inside as soon as the gates of the stadium are opened to spectators. Roads leading to the stadium are left choked every time a match is held in the city.
The sight of thousands of dejected fans in their ‘bleed blue’ promotional T-shirts streaming out of the stadium after the ODI between India and Australia was called off following heavy rain in October 2010 alone is enough proof for the excitement and passion that international cricket invokes here.
A rain-induced wash off is an unlikely prospect as the KCA has put in place a state-of-the-art drainage system since then.