Kozhikode (Ker): Hilly Wayanad district, a prominent tourist destination,will find a place in the cricket map of the country when South India`s first high altitude `table top` stadium at Krishnagiri is commissioned on tuesday by Kerala Cricket Association.
It will be a historic moment for KCA, at a time when cricket in the state is witnessing fast paced development in the last few years due to sustained development initiatives of the association.
KCA President T C Mathew said the stadium has been constructed on 4.4 hectare by the side of Kozhikode-Mysore National Highway 212 at a cost of Rs 6.5 crore.
It has international quality pitches and a viewing gallery in the form of a `sloped lawn` where people can sit and watch the match.
The stadium has state-of-the-art players rooms and dining area.
"We propose to shift two academies into the stadium and commission a modern media room," he said.
All matches, except international, could be conducted at the stadium, which is KCA`s first own stadium in the state, built exclusively for cricket, Mathew said.
"We have incorporated all modern facilities in the stadium, including a good drainage system," he said.
Such a `table top` stadium is the first in South India and second in the country. A similar stadium had been commissioned at Dharmasala in Himachal Pradesh.
The stadium land was bought in 2006 and the foundation stone laid in 2009 by former India cricketers Robin Singh and Sunil Joshi. The stadium has a capacity for 10000 spectators.
Former India cricketers including Sandeep Patil, Chandrakanth Pandit, Roger Binny and Javagal Srinath had visited the stadium and had expressed appreciation.
Mathew claimed KCA`s `Mission 20-20`, `CASH-Kerala` and Cricket@school programme for developing the game in the state had won widespread acclaim.
"Due to these programmes, the game has spread to every nook and corner of Kerala and our state teams and players are coming to the national limelight by their remarkable performances. Kerala is emerging as a force to reckon with in Indian cricket`, he said.
To overcome major constraints, including adequate infrastructure, particularly good grounds and turf pitches, KCA was developing grounds and state-of-the-art facilities in all 14 district, he said.
Mission 20-20 is a master plan guaranteed to change the profile of the game in the state by 2020 and Cricket @school is another ambitious project in development of the game.
Cricket Academies and Sports Hostel is a KCA project which adopts and trains school children each year through District level and State level academies, Mathew said.