The outfield of ACA-VDCA stadium in Visakhapatnam is famous for its lush green look, from the 22-yard rectangular in the middle to the periphery skirting the stands. Every visitor to the stadium is left in awe at the way the outfield is laid and maintained since the first major match was played here during September 2003 between the touring New Zealand team and Board President’s XI.
For the last few months the outfield showed many areas where the grass turned brown, upsetting the local spectators who are proud of the stadium. However, the lush green look was brought back for the big occasion of the second one-day international match between India and West Indies to be played on Sunday.
“The patches were there due to weather conditions (the city or the district did not receive adequate rain fall except for the heavy rains and floods for a brief while in the past and the present spell of rain) and we have worked on the outfield as well as the pitch for the last 15 to 20 days. Both are in excellent shape”, curator of the stadium K. Nagamallayya said on Thursday.
The preparation also coincided with introduction of organic manure for preparing the outfield and pitch for the big match.
BCCI, during a certified course held for curators at Bangalore during July, has asked curators of all ODI and Test grounds to use more organic manure and pesticides in preparation of the ground and pitch, said Mr. Nagamallayya, who stood fourth in the test and qualified for the Level I course.
Organic material substituting chemical fertilizers combinations of NPK and DPA were used to provide nutrients (to bring green colour), strengthen root system and improve leaf structure. Clay content might change if chemical fertilizers are used in more quantity than required and combinations of nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus have to be used with care after conducting soil tests, he explained about how cautious one has to be while using the chemical fertilizers.
The organic fertilizers would cost half of the price of chemical fertilizers and also show quick results.
Cyclone Helen is posing a threat to Sunday’s match but the ground staff at the stadium have taken precautions much in advance, following the weather forecast on several websites.
The outfield is almost covered and the lush green grass might turn a little yellowish if the covers have to be continued till the match day, said the curator.
Excellent drainage system
Showers are forecast on Sunday morning but the excellent drainage system of the ground, probably the best in any stadium in the country according to Mr. Nagamallayya, will take care of the ground.
There are super-soppers and 40 men, 15 more than the usual strength, are being engaged for the match to quicken the process of pulling the covers and drying the ground in case of rain.