Hyderabad ready to host New Zealand Test
Kanpur may not be ready and Kolkata unwilling, but Hyderabad has thrown its hat into the ring as a possible venue for the second Test between India and New Zealand from November 12 to 16. The Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Uppal, on the eastern outskirts of Hyderabad, has staged three ODIs since 2005 and was conferred Test status by the BCCI and the ICC in June this year.
Kanpur was scheduled to host the second Test between India and New Zealand but threw up its hands saying that its 10,000-seater 'students' stand' was incomplete. Kolkata then cited renovation of the Eden Gardens for next year's World Cup as the reason for its inability to hold the Test. Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA) president, Arshad Ayub, told ESPNcricinfo, "Hyderabad would certainly and absolutely be ready to stage the India-New Zealand Test. We haven't been contacted, but I believe the BCCI may be considering it".
Ayub said Hyderabad was "already in the line" to host a Test as it wrote to the BCCI asking to be allotted one, depending on, "the rotation of the Test match grounds or whose turn it was." The Rajiv Gandhi Stadium will stage an India v New Zealand ODI on December 4, but the prospect of hosting two international matches within the space of three weeks was, Ayub said, "not a problem at all". The HCA has not been formally spoken to by the BCCI about the Test against New Zealand, "but we are ready and able".
The two confirmed venues for the India-New Zealand Test series are Ahmedabad (November 4 to 8) and Nagpur (November 20 to 24). The series has been dogged by scheduling issues starting in July when the Mumbai Cricket Association backed out of staging the third Test, due to the renovation of the Wankhede Stadium for the World Cup in July, followed by Kanpur's constructions problems earlier this week.
Sharda Ugra is senior editor at Cricinfo