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The need for a big ground and an exclusive cricket facility necessitated the building of a cricket ground in Uppal, an eastern suburb of Hyderabad. Moreover the earlier venue - the Lal Bahadur Shastri Stadium - was owned by the Sports Authority of Andhra Pradesh, giving the Hyderabad Cricket Association limited control over the ground. Stretched over 16 acres of land, the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium did away Hyderabad's reputation of being a high-scoring venue. The ground has had its share of controversy. The first came with the name, which the state government changed to honour a former Indian prime minister. The HCA had to pay out the contractors - Visaka Industries - after whom the stadium was originally named. Then, ten days before what would have been its first first-class match - between the Australians and Mumbai - the ground was deemed unfit to host a big match. But the stadium is now ready, a state-of-the-art facility, complete with floodlights installed in April 2008 in time for hosting the Deccan Chargers in the Indian Premier League.
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