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Pune prepares for World Cup: Facelift for Gahunje stadium, trophy parade

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EXCITEMENT IS within the air at Maharashtra Cricket Association’s stadium in Gahunje as Pune will host ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup after a protracted hole of 27 years.

When India faces Bangladesh on October 19, it will likely be the primary ever world cup contest involving India performed at a Pune stadium.

And then there will probably be 4 extra matches — Afghanistan vs Sri Lanka on October 30, New Zealand vs South Africa on November 1, England vs Netherlands on November 8 and Australia vs Bangladesh on November 12.

“We have hosted 60 major events including IPL but this is a mega event. We are very excited,” stated Ajinkya Joshi, Chief Operating Officer, MCA.

In preparation for the matches the stadium is getting a face-lift for the primary time since its opening in April 2012. “Gahunje stadium is well-maintained. But since this is an international event we are upgrading the stadium for the first time in the last 11 years. The entire stadium is getting a new coat, a new cover shed is being installed and landscaping is being fine-tuned,” Joshi advised The Indian Express. He stated that about 120 staff are concerned within the effort and the work will end in time.

“The ICC and BCCI officials paid a two-day inspection visit on Wednesday and Thursday to check the progress and they are satisfied,” stated Joshi.

He stated that to keep away from any visitors congestion outdoors the stadium, about 20 hectares of land has been rented from villagers to complement its personal parking house.  “Service roads will be repaired before the matches to avoid any inconvenience to visitors,” he added.

Shubhendra Bhandarkar, MCA Secretary, stated the ticket sale has already commenced and understandably there’s an enormous demand for them.  “The tickets are getting sold immediately after the bookings opened. Our seating capacity is 42,000 but because of stricter rules of ICC about seating, it may come down to around 32,000,” stated Bhandarkar.

The MCA officers are assured of the success of the occasions and stated that the rain won’t pay a lot of the spoiler because the sand-based floor with nice drainage capability is adaptive to rains.

“Even if it rains, the play can resume half an hour after the rains stops. The ground dries very quickly,” stated Bhandarkar.

MCA officers stated that the physique’s honorary president Rohit Pawar has put in quite a lot of arduous work to get the matches on the stadium.

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“Thanks to MCA Honorary President Rohit Pawar’s efforts the city is getting to host five world cup matches,” Bhandarkar stated.

Another plan that MCA has made for cricket lovers is organising a trophy parade from Marriot Hotel on Senapati Bapat Road to College of Agriculture which can see participation of cricketers together with worldwide gamers. Also a world cup trophy will probably be displayed on the College of Agriculture for cricket lovers on September 26.

President of MCA, Rohit Pawar stated, “As part of the glorious tradition of Indian cricket, a procession of ICC World Cup 2023 trophy will be held in Pune in the presence of International Indian players, MCA officials, players of Indian team, captains of Maharashtra Cricket Team among others. The trophy will then be placed for spectators at the grounds of Agriculture College in Shivajinagar.”