When the Dr DY Patil Stadium in Nerul was inaugurated in 2007, critics and players unanimously hailed the Navi Mumbai venue as the best thing to have happened in India as far as cricketing infrastructure was concerned. In fact, the state-of-the-art facilities became a stepping stone for other stadiums in India that have emerged in recent times.
In a country where sporting infrastructure gets most of the flak for failures, the highly acclaimed DY Patil Stadium is lying idle this season. Ironically, the DY Patil Stadium, which was awarded the ‘best IPL venue experience’ amongst 12 centres in 2010, was not listed for the ongoing fifth edition of the cash-rich tournament.
However, Prof Ratnakar Shetty, BCCI’s Chief Administrative Officer and Mumbai Cricket Association vice-president, said there is an agreement between host association and franchisee in selecting IPL venue. “The franchisee and the state association play an equal role in deciding the venues. The Board only wants stadiums affiliated to the state association to host matches,” said Shetty.
Vijay Patil, the brainchild of the stadium, is disappointed. “I am a bit disappointed that people in suburban Mumbai will not get the opportunity to watch IPL matches at our stadium,” Patil, who is also the MCA vice-president, told MiD DAY.
Always supported IPL
It can be recalled that Patil & Co extended full support to the IPL and its franchises during tough times. DY Patil Stadium was Mumbai Indians’ second home apart from Brabourne Stadium when the Wankhede Stadium underwent renovation for the 2011 World Cup in the third IPL.
The 2010 IPL was an eventful one for the DY Patil Stadium. Patil & Co came to the rescue when Deccan Chargers had to move their league matches due to trouble in Telangana. Some matches were later shared by the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium in Nagpur. Similar fears had earlier forced the organisers to move the opening ceremony out of Hyderabad to Navi Mumbai.
The twin blasts in Bangalore forced the then IPL chief Lalit Modi to shift two semi-finals at short notice to DY Patil Stadium. In the last IPL, the venue became the home ground of Pune Warriors India when their stadium in Gahunje, Pune was not ready.
“We have provided exceptional support to the BCCI and IPL whenever required. We will continue doing so,” said Patil.
However, sources reveal that the DY Patil Stadium hasn’t been a beneficiary of the BCCI-IPL grant (approximately between R12-15 crore) which every venue receives annually for holding IPL games.
In fact, it’s astonishing that the Nerul venue, which was rated as sixth best cricket stadium in the world by the British Journal of Architecture in 2009, hasn’t even hosted a first-class game all these years. The only time they came close to hosting their maiden international match was when the seventh ODI between India and Australia in November 2009 was washed out due to incessant rain. Vijay Patil is hoping luck will change.
Previous action at DY Patil Stadium
* IPL I
* League matches: 3
* IPL III
* Opening ceremony
* lLeague matches: 2
* lSemi-finals: 2
* lThird place play-off
* IPL IV
lLeague matches: 7