India is racing to notch a unique half century in cricket. It has already staged one-day internationals at 40 venues to leave the other countries far behind. More venues are getting ready with state of the art facility and in probably in the next five years the 50 figure mark may be reached.
The BCCI has been proactive in developing infrastructure and creating new venues for first class cricket and one-day internationals. It offers a subsidy of Rs. 50 crore to associations to develop a dedicated ground for cricket.
While the venue at Dharamsala (Himachal Pradesh) is fully functional, new venues are expected to be completed at Rajkot, Pune and Guwahati in two years. Plans are in the pipeline to create a modern facility at Kochi, Kanpur and Baroda.
While a handful of associations may have to wait to get the ICC nod for staging Test matches, the Vidarbha Cricket Association’s new facility at Jamtha (Nagpur) and the D.Y. Patil Sports Academy Ground at Navi Mumbai would have become the 41st and 42nd venue at the conclusion of the Hero Honda Cup seven match series against Australia.
Jamtha has already staged a Test against Australia last year and is set to stage the second one-day international on October 28. Early this year the Architects’ Journal (U.K.), rated the D.Y. Patil ground the sixth best in the world.
While Test matches have been played at an exact 100 venues, one-day internationals, worldwide has been played at 174 venues and Sri Lanka’s Sanath Jayasuriya has the record of having played at 99 venues, his maximum appearance being at the Premadasa Stadium (70) and at Sharjah (57).
Jamtha and D.Y. Patil will take the overall figure to 176 and India’s Sachin Tendulkar would get an opportunity to take his tally from 94 venues to 96. Rahul Dravid has played at 96, Sourav Ganguly at 84 which is the same for Sri Lankan seamer Chaminda Vaas. Australian captain Ricky Ponting has played at 82 venues so far.
India’s ODI venue list will go up to 42 leaving England’s 22 at a distant second. Australia has 17, Bangladesh 7, Canada 2, Ireland 2, Kenya 7, Malaysia 1, Morocco 1, Holland 2, New Zealand 10, Pakistan 16, Scotland 2, Singapore 2, South Africa 12, Sri Lanka 7, UAE 3, West Indies 15 and Zimbabwe 4.