Raipur ready to revel in IPL bonanza

All 98,000 tickets to the Daredevils' games here have been sold.

Despite Delhi Daredevils not having performed up to the expectations so far, all 98,000 tickets for their two matches in Raipur have been sold out even the Chhattisgarh State Cricket Sangh (CSCS) is ready play host.

Officials of IMG, the management company that organises the Indian Premier League and produces the telecast, and BCCI/ IPL inspected the Shaheed Veer Narayan Singh International Cricket Stadium and hotels etc. during a joint recce recently.

Although IMG apparently had some issues related to facilities TV coverage, the recce team finally cleared the decks for the matches to be played in the capi-tal of Chhattisgarh. Daredevils play against Pune on April 28 and against Kolkata on May 1.

CSCS secretary Rajesh Dave said that all tickets for both matches have been taken up by fans. "The capacity of the stadium for IPL games is 49,000 — all are chairs — and the tickets for both encounters have been sold out,” Dave told Mail Today. "Spectators will enjoy the games here. They can have a 360 degree view as there are no pillars that might have obstructed their view of the ground,” he said.

The teams will stay at the fivestar VW Canyon Hotel on the VIP Road, about 12 kms from the stadium.

"It would take 10 to 12 minutes for the teams to reach the stadium,” Dave said.

Chief curator Shamim Mirza said that the primary pitch and ground preparation is complete.

"The ground levelling has been checked, watering done, and the final pitch preparation started today,” Mirza told Mail Today. "We are preparing three pitches for the two matches. One of them is being kept aside for emergency.

We’ve started rolling the pitches twice a day. The temperature these days is hovering around 42 degree Celsius and if it increases the rolling will be reduced.” Since the outfield is clay-based, three-inch poring has been done and filled with sand so that the hardness is lessened and moisture is retained for longer durations.

"The ground is now sporting a green look,” said Mirza, who has been overseeing the ground for five years.

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