KOCHI: The Krishnagiri ground in Wayanad is one of the most scenic cricket grounds in the country. It has even drawn comparisons to Newlands cricket ground in Cape Town. Recently, the stadium hosted multi-day matches between England Lions and India A in January, and it was selected by BCCI as the venue for the first unofficial Test between South Africa A and India A, which was going to be held from September 10 to 13.
However, there has been a major setback to those plans. The ground has suffered considerable damage due to the torrential rainfall that has been pounding various parts of Kerala, including Wayanad. It is one of the worst affected regions in Kerala at the moment, and has witnessed major landslides and numerous cases of deaths in the last few days.
One side of the boundary, including the retaining wall, has been washed away. Kerala Cricket Association are trying to understand the extent of the damage, but they are unable to send their engineers because of the inundated conditions in the region.
“We are yet to check the extent of damage, but it is doubtful whether any BCCI matches can be held there at least in the next six months. We haven’t received the status of our other grounds. We are still taking stock of the situation. It is not possible right now to inspect the place because of the circumstances, but we might have to shift the match to another venue,” Kerala Cricket Association secretary Sreejith Nair said. He said that KCA will be informing BCCI on Monday about the ground’s condition.
For improved water drainage, the ground’s surface has a slant of two feet for facilitating water run-off. But even that couldn’t help the venue withstand nature’s fury. “The rains were so fierce that nothing could negate its effects. This is an unprecedented situation, and it is leaving a trail of damage across the region and all over the state,” said Nair.
The stadium is owned by KCA, unlike other grounds in the state like Greenfield Stadium in Thiruvananthapuram. Krishnagiri was also the venue for the 2018-19 Ranji Trophy semifinal.As far as the new domestic season is concerned, it remains to be seen if Krishnagiri will host any matches.
“We have received the calendar but nothing has been finalised. We have to sit down, decide the venues for the matches, and plan everything. It is all in the planning stage right now,” Nair said.