MEENANGADI:The scenic Krishnagiri stadium, which is located at an altitude of 2,100 feet above sea level, is all set to host its first international cricket test matches between the ‘A’ teams of India and South Africa from August 18.
The table-top Krishnagiri stadium will host two four-day international test matches between India-A and South Africa-A. The matches are scheduled from August 18 to 21, and from August 25 to 28.
According to Kerala Cricket Association (KCA), players from both teams would be reaching Wayanad on August 16. Following the triangular series matches involving A teams of India, Australia and South Africa in Chennai, the South African team will head for Wayanad by road. “Accommodation for the players, officials of teams, and match officials have been arranged in Vythiri Village Resort,” said Jaffer Sath, president of district cricket association. The teams will enter the field on August 17 for net practice. KCA has arranged for four additional pitches for the teams to practice on.
Chief curator of BCCI P R Vishwanathan, and KCA’s curators Anil and Nissar are currently supervising the maintenance of five pitches at the stadium. Balakrishnan added that BCCI officials and team officials will come down to the venue to inspect the condition of the pitches and other facilities at the stadium. “The pitch for the games will be favourable for batting and bowling. Bowlers will experience decent swing due to the high altitude. The air is less polluted and less dense, and that will ensure free movement of the ball due to reduction in air resistance,” said Balakrishnan T R, treasurer of KCA.
Expecting chances of a drizzle on the match days, cricket association has set super absorbent drain facility in place so as to dry the field quickly. “The game could be resumed in half an hour’s time once the rain ends,” Balakrishnan added.
In what is good news for those who do not often get to see international cricket, KCA has thrown open admissions for spectators to witness the game free of cost. Expecting an audience of at least 5,000, Balakrishnan said a makeshift pavilion will be set up for viewers.
South African international team’s skipper Hashim Amla is also expected to be present at the venue on match days. However, while the people of Wayanad will get a chance to see masters of the game, like Jonty Rhodes and Rahul Dravid, local boy Sanju Samson’s presence in the line-up will be missed.