After 24 years of drought, the international cricket scene would once again arrive at Lucknow. In 1994, India won the last game that took place at the venue of KD Singh Stadium in the Nawabi city. It has been a heavy wait for the fans, the city has been kept away from the international listings for quite some time now.
Finally on 6th November 2018 that wait would end. At the newly established Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium, India will tussle for a T20I series win against the Windies in the second of the three-games.
Lucknow has two stadiums with global appeal and facilities of international stature:
KD Singh ‘Babu’ Stadium
This fixture was established in the year 1957. The stadium comes with a capacity of 25,000 and is located at the Hazratganj area. There is no support for floodlights, hence the day-night matches do not take place at the venue. One of the few venues to have hosted just a solitary test match, KD Singh Stadium is named after the two-time gold medallist hockey player, Kunwar Digvijay Singh, popularly called, “Babu”.
It has also hosted just one ODI. The international men’s game it has hosted:
1. Pakistan Vs Sri Lanka ODI(1989)
A close encounter took place between the subcontinent giants, Pakistan and Sri Lanka at this ground. The current Pakistan Prime Minister, Imran Khan, was the star of that game. He scored 84, as Pakistan won the game in the final over by a mere 6 runs.
2. India Vs Sri Lanka Test(1994)
The only test match that took place at the venue was a treat to play for the Indian batsman. Navjot Singh Siddhu, nicknamed Sherry, hit 8 sixes to score 124 in the first innings. Tendulkar hammered 142. Sri Lanka was asked to follow on after India put in 511. India won the game by an innings and 119 runs.
Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium
On Monday it was Ekana Cricket Stadium, by Tuesday it became Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium. The name was changed by the Yogi Adityanath government hours before the match.
The stadium has said to be decorated with posters, hoardings and banners of govt schemes. Samajwadi Party has strictly criticized this exercise. Apparently, the foundation stone of Ekana Stadium was laid by Akhilesh Yadav’s government in December 2013.
A 50-minute drive to the west of KD Singh ‘Babu’ Stadium will take you to the newly built, Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium. The stadium comes with the third largest seating capacity in India will host its first T20I game today. The 52nd stadium in India to host an international match, Ekana can welcome a maximum of 50,000 spectators. The venue has earlier hosted 2017-2018 Duleep Trophy Final.