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Mumbai's third, and newest, full-fledged cricket stadium stands out for its design and its spectator-friendly seating arrangements. The capacity of 55,000 makes it the second-largest cricket ground in India after the Eden Gardens and, to make sure each spectator has a comfortable and clear viewing experience, the entire ground has bucket seats and cantilever roofs that eliminate the need for columns.
Owned by the DY Patil Sports Academy, the ground lies inside the DY Patil University campus in Nerul, about 50 kilometers east of Mumbai. The brainchild of Vijay Patil, the patron of the institution, the stadium cost Rs one billion (US$ 25 million) and was constructed by Hafeez Contractor, a leading Indian architect.
The stadium is located at a considerable distance from the heart of the city but that is also an advantage, as space is no constraint - it even has a small practice ground with 12 wickets.
The pitch and outfield have been prepared with plenty of care as well - 200 tonnes of soil was flown in from South Africa to ensure a bouncy and true pitch. The outfield in the main ground is covered with sand-based grass, which not only prevents player injuries but also has the advantage of easy drainage. A drainage system below the main surface will help faster dispersal of water. The four floodlight towers are taller than normal, making sure that there is no glare in the batsman's eye during the evening games.
Nagraj Gollapudi May 2008
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