Hyderabad to host New Zealand Test
The Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad will host its first Test - between India and New Zealand - from November 12-16. The ground was conferred Test status in June and the BCCI took the decision to assign it its first international five-day game at the annual general meeting in Mumbai.
"It's a great thing for Hyderabad," Arshad Ayub, the president of the Hyderabad Cricket Association said. "We have prepared this ground for Test matches. Lots of places host ODIs but we built the ground wanting a Test venue because that carried with it a prestige for a ground. And this will be the first time after 22 years that Hyderabad will stage a Test - the first one at our new ground." The city last hosted a Test in 1988, also involving New Zealand.
The venue first hosted an international fixture - an ODI between India and South Africa - in 2005 and has staged two more 50-overs games. It was also the host for all of Deccan Chargers' home games in the inaugural IPL.
"Hyderabad is almost one of the founder members of the BCCI and we believed we needed to be a permanent Test venue which is why we shifted the facility out of Fateh Maidan because after a while it was not suitable to stage Tests," Ayub said. "Once the new stadium was ready we were desperate to get ICC clearance to stage a Test, and it's all happened and now we have got that chance. Test venues need to have proper facilities, dressing rooms, practice pitches, security, good hotels around, and on the counts related to grounds we made sure none of the facilities was an issue.
"We will have an executive meeting on October 2 to decide on what we can do about the game to bring in a good crowds, maybe it will be cheap tickets, we will be formulating our plans in that meeting. Ideally we are hoping to get in around 25,000 people to the game."