Pune Intl Stadium work gathers hectic pace for IPL-4

Pune: With the unveiling of the `Sahara Pune Warriors` set to join the Indian Premiere League (IPL) edition four next year, the construction activity at the Maharashtra Cricket Association`s (MCA) International Cricket Centre, about 35 kms from the city, has shifted in top gear.

The stadium, located just three kms from Pune-Mumbai Expressway near village Gahunje, is being built conforming to world standard facilities across 40 acres of land with an investment of Rs 270 crore and on completion would host nine matches of IPL 2011 calender.

Spelling out features of the under construction centre named `MCA Pune International Cricket Centre`, President of MCA Ajay Shirke told PTI that it would have as many as 17 wickets out of which five would be used for big matches.

The new stadium will have a seating capacity of about 56,000 and efforts are being made to have a dedicated transport service in view of the long distance from the city which also houses `Nehru Stadium` of Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) where the last international fixture against Sri Lanka was held in 2001.

"Clean sightlines will be one of the prominent features of this stadium where spectators irrespective of their ticket class, will be able to view the matches without blocking of vision by those sitting in the next rows," Shirke said.

Representatives of the Sahara group which have bought the Pune IPL franchise for a whooping Rs 1706 crore, have been making a periodical inspection of the MCA international stadium construction work, Shirke said.

A spokesman of the group said they were hopeful that the project would be completed by the deadline set for March 2011.

The MCA is also expected to make a proposal to aharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) for construction of a fly-over from the Pune-Mumbai expressway linking the stadium directly for easy transportation.

For two-wheelers, construction of an alternative road too is under consideration.

Interestingly, it is not just spectators whose comfort is being taken care of in the stadium`s "aesthetic" design.

According to MCA president, the sniffer dog squad that is customarily deployed at stadium for security checks, too would have a reason to be happy.

"After the security checks are over, the dogs are hardly attended properly. The MCA stadium will have a kennel to look after canine friends!"