After winning the opening ODI by a convincing margin of six wickets on Sunday, the Indian Cricket team will come to the Ferozshah Kotla in New Delhi, hoping to double that advantage.
The crowds will no doubt flock the venue in the expectation of an Indian win and also in the hope of watching their hometown boy Virat Kohli in an ODI after a gap of two years. The last time he played at the venue in an ODI was in 2014 against the West Indies where he made a half-century.
However, ahead of that game on Thursday, there are issues that the Delhi and District Cricket Association need to address and solve off the field.
The Ferozshah Kotla was declared as the best venue and was given the award for the best pitch during the 9th edition of the Indian Premier League that concluded in May. The association received a sum of Rs. 12.5 lakhs, which they announced, would be split among the ground staff and other technicians, who played a key role in the successful hosting of matches.
But nearly four months after the conclusion of the League, the staff are still awaiting their share of the money and are expectedly not too happy about it.
“Every groundsman was supposed to get around Rs 40,000-50,000 while curator Ankit Datta was slated to pocket around Rs 1.5 lakh.The sum is equal to some of the groundsman's two months' salaries. They have made plans with the festive season around. They are getting agitated,” An official from the association told the Times of India.
The treasurer of the association, Mr.Ravinder Manchanda, however, said that the association was yet to get the prize money.
"We are still waiting for BCCI to transfer the funds to our account. Even the funds earned from hosting the World T20 matches haven't arrived,” he said.
However, one look at the BCCI website for moe details gives us a better idea. In the category where details about payments in excess of 25 lakhs are revealed, it is declared that the IPL prize money payments were made till August.
In the past, the Kotla has made the news for not the right reasons and among the prominent instances that come to mind straight away is the 2009 India-Sri Lanka match, when the match had to be abandoned after the pitch was deemed to be dangerous for the players.
In his report to the ICC then, the match referee for the game Alan Hurst had said that the wicket did not meet the standards needed for ODI cricket and playing shots on such a deck was a risk.
"This pitch did not meet the requirements for an ODI match.This meant the players were unsure of what the ball would do. Playing shots was risky because of the unpredictable bounce. However, of more concern was the dangerous bounce that occurred randomly and accounted for batsmen being struck on a number of occasions,” he was quoted as saying in the report, by the Hindustan Times.
One hope that the new issue that has cropped up for the association is soon resolved and we have happier things to write about the venue in future.