IPL 2018: Lucknow's Ekana Stadium to host IPL 2018 games
What's the story?
The latest venue to be home to an IPL game will be the Ekana International Stadium in Lucknow, which will be playing host to a few of the Delhi Daredevils' matches in the 2018 edition. “Lucknow’s new stadium has all the world-class facilities and it is a more convenient venue logistically too,” a source told The Indian Express.
In case you didn't know..
The newest cricket ground in India has previously hosted day-night Duleep Trophy games in the 2017-18 domestic season, which were played with the pink ball. In fact, it was nearly certain that it would play host to the visiting New Zealand team for an ODI in October 2017, but with the ground incomplete, the match was shifted to the Green Park Stadium in Kanpur.
The heart of the matter
The Ekana Stadium can accommodate as many as 50,000 spectators, thus becoming the second largest cricket ground in India after the Eden Gardens in Kolkata, which has 66,349 seats. The ongoing domestic season also saw it host its first Ranji Trophy encounter, between hosts Uttar Pradesh and Railways. It was a low scoring affair which ended inside three days with Railways winning by 21 runs.
One of the reasons which may have put the Ekana Stadium in the reckoning would have been the fact that its capacity is nearly 9,000 more than that of the Feroz Shah Kotla Ground in Delhi, which has 41,820 seats.
The IPL auctions will be taking place on January 27 and 28 in Bangalore, while the first match of the 2018 edition, on April 7, will be held at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. The final, on May 27, will also be played at the same venue.
To award an IPL or any domestic game to a new stadium is always a welcome move before it starts hosting international matches. That enables the host association to judge its facilities as well as to know if the pitch can last the duration of a five-day game too, by first staging a first-class match.