HYDERABAD: Fans seated near the South Terrace Pavilion will, in most likelihood, not have the usual roof over their heads when they turn up in thousands to watch Sunrisers Hyderabad’s final home game in the league stage on April 29, against Kings XI Punjab.
The canopy over that part of the stands was ripped to shreds when heavy rainfall accompanied by gusty winds up to 78 kmph hit Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium on Monday evening. The work required to restore the canopy will not be completed before the Kings XI game, sources said. The stadium is also slated to host the IPL final on May 12.
“The fabric used to make the canopy has to be imported from Australia, and then stitched in Sri Lanka before it can be fitted into the structure,” Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA) chief executive officer Panduranga Murthy told this newspaper on Tuesday.
Engineers based in New Delhi, who had installed the canopy originally, were contacted for the initial damage assessment. “They (engineers) contacted their counterpart based in Hyderabad, and he did the initial assessment today. More engineers will be called in to scan the whole structure (standing at least 150 feet high) properly,” Murthy said.
Asked whether it is certain that the structure will not be fully repaired in time for the April 29 game, Murthy answered in the affirmative. When the same question was put forward to HCA secretary T Sheshnarayan, he reiterated what Murthy said. “The cranes needed to install the canopy will have to be brought from outside of the state. And it is a difficult process to install those cranes. But we have insurance,” Sheshnarayan said.
There are still questions over safety issues when fans come visiting the stadium. “I am no expert, but from what I can see no damage has been done to the overall structure. Only the canopy has been damaged. Still, experts will come for a detailed examination, and then only the requisite clearance will be given. It would not take more than three days for the security clearance. We will definitely host the match,” Murthy said.