HYDERABAD: The much-promised canopy at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium at Uppal will not be ready for the four IPL matches that will be held there next month. The spectators will have to bear the brunt of hot summer sun for the two 4 pm matches (against Delhi Daredevils on May 10 and against Royal Challengers, Bangalore on May 20). However, the other two Deccan Chargers matches against Kings XI (May 8) and Rajasthan Royals (May 18) will be at 8 pm, sparing spectators from the searing heat conditions.
Arshad Ayub, president of the Hyderabad Cricket Association, confirmed that the canopy work would not be completed. "The installation work on the North side has begun just a few days ago. It will not be completed for the IPL matches. There will be structures but no canopy. We have to stop the work because of the IPL matches. It will restart after the matches and we are confident of installing the canopies on the North and South sides for the New Zealand Test to be held in August,’’ he said.
Commenting on the bad news PR Man Singh, former secretary said, "It will be hard for the spectators. I feel pity for them. But it is still a mystery why the work is taking such a long time. It is time someone was made accountable for this delay."
Incidentally, Ayub has been promising at every press conference in the last two years that the long-delayed canopy would be completed in six months’ time. The canopy work has however been mired in controversy. There have been allegations of a scam in the awarding of the contract to a Delhi firm, though the HCA has strongly denied it. "It is a shame we had started the work a long time back and have not completed it,’’ said Babu Rao Sagar, who has been fighting corruption cases against HCA in court.