Kanpur likely to lose Australia Test
The Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad is likely to host its second Test of the season if the BCCI decides to move the fourth Test between India and Australia from Green Park in Kanpur. The decision is expected to be made before the year-end, after Cricket Australia expressed dissatisfaction over facilities in Kanpur.
ESPNcricinfo understands that CA's venue inspection team, which visited Kanpur on December 12, expressed concerns over not only the in-stadia facilities but also about hospitality. "The dressing room is not suitable to accommodate a modern-day entourage of a cricket team. Besides, they were not impressed with the facilities at the only five-star hotel in the town," a source said.
The BCCI asked the Uttar Pradesh Cricket Association (UPCA), the host association, to get things in order within a fortnight but if the board's recce team, which had inspected the facilities on December 1, finds the venue unsuitable, then Kanpur "will have to be replaced". The beneficiary will be the Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA), which had hosted the first Test of the home season, against New Zealand in August.
The Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium became India's 10th active Test venue when it hosted its first Test two years ago. The BCCI awards Tests to each venue by rotation and since India have 10 home games this season, Hyderabad will have first right of hosting the fourth Test against Australia, if Kanpur is ruled out.
The UPCA, however, is making a late attempt to not lose the Test. Green Park is the only Test centre in India that is not owned by the cricket body. "Since it's owned by the state government, maintaining it and renovating it becomes too difficult," a UPCA official said. "Hopefully, we will be able to erase all doubts raised and be able to put up a good show."
Green Park has not hosted an international since the Sri Lanka Test in November 2009 primarily due to the UPCA's administrative tussle with the state government. Though the UPCA office bearers were in talks with the government officials last year for leasing the stadium, the attempts haven't reaped any rewards.
Amol Karhadkar is a correspondent at ESPNcricinfo