THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Close on the heels of BCCI top honchos confirming Greenfield Stadium’s status to hold international matches as all but confirmed, there is even more good news for cricket fans in the city as the construction of Kerala Cricket Association’s (KCA) first fully owned stadium in the district is nearing its completion.
The KCA Cricket Ground at Veiloor near Mangalapuram here which is coming up at a 9.5-acre plot on the city outskirts is expected to be inaugurated by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on June 14 and has already started hosting inter-district matches in recent months.
“Our priority was to get the ground ready to host matches at the earliest as we were forced to deal with fixture congestion due to lack of venues,” said Vinod S Kumar, secretary of the Thiruvananthapuram District Cricket Association. “We have completed the playing surface and the wickets to make the venue match ready,” he said.
It is the third venue in the district which could host first-class matches after the KCA - St Xavier’s College Cricket Ground in Thumba and the Greenfield International Stadium in Kariavattom which the KCA have a MoU in place for conducting matches till September 2027.
Vinod said though the ground will be thrown open next month, construction of the accompanying infrastructure will continue at the site. “Our plan is to have a pavilion, indoor cricket nets, gymnasium, and equipment store at the ground. We will invite tenders for this and hope to complete the work in 1-1.5 years,” he said.
The KCA have spent Rs 4.25 crore at the venue already where the construction started in 2015 and is expected to spend another Rs 6 crore for its completion. A gallery that can hold around 2000 spectators is also mooted.
The stadium, located 1.8km from Mangalapuram, is larger than the stadiums at Wayanad, Perinthalmanna, and Thalassery and will be able to host national-level matches including the Ranji Trophy in the coming years.