GUWAHATI, April 28 - The Assam Cricket Association (ACA) is quite optimistic regarding the Barsapara stadium getting the status of an international venue after the delegation of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and International Cricket Council (ICC) visits the stadium.
Speaking exclusively to The Assam Tribune, ACA secretary Pradip Buragohain stated that the delegation is likely to visit the Barsapara stadium in a day or two to assess the infrastructure and suggest requirements if necessary for hosting international matches.
�A delegation of the BCCI and ICC will visit the city within these days to inspect the stadium. They will see if the stadium is in the right shape to host an international match. As per the letter from the BCCI, it was stated that the team will visit the city in the first week of May but all I can say is that the delegation will be here soon,� said Buragohain.
It is for the first time that such a delegation will be visiting the Rs 260-crore, 50,000-capacity stadium.
�The team will check the overall infrastructure. They will see whether the pavilions for both the teams are alright, whether there is parking facility, practice grounds and all the other aspects required to host an international match. If the inspection group clears the ground for hosting international matches we will get two to three months of time to ensure the changes required. The major portion is already ready and we are very much confident of hosting an international match soon,� Buragohain added.
The State which last hosted an ODI back in 2010 stands a strong chance of getting the official nod. ACA has successfully hosted four seasons of the Ranji Trophy which includes a total of 17 matches. Asked regarding the ground condition, chief curator of the ACA, Mukut Kalita is very much confident that the stadium is fit to host any international match.
�This is completely a sand-based ground due to which we can host any match after a heavy rainfall. I can confidently say that it is one of the best grounds in India. Even if you have 72 to 96 hours of rainfall, we can start a match within half an hour.� He revealed that annually there is a minimum maintenance cost of Rs 5 to Rs 6 lakh.
Kalita is a BCCI-certified curator and has been in charge of the Barsapara stadium since 2013. He was also appointed by the BCCI for outstation matches apart from those in Assam.
Asked about the reason behind the stadium not allotted the Indian Premier League matches, Kalita said: �IPL is completely different as a lot depends on the franchise owners. They take a lot of aspects into consideration before deciding on a venue as their home ground. All I can say that technically we are ready to host any match and if they ask us to host an IPL match within seven days, we are ready for it.�