PCA gears up to host World Cup matches

By Alkesh Sharma, IANS
Wednesday, February 16, 2011

MOHALI - The Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) is busy refurbishing the infrastructure and basic amenities of its stadium here for the upcoming World Cup matches.

The PCA stadium is considered one of the most ultra-modern facilities in the country.

To ensure comfortable seating arrangements, PCA authorities are working round-the-clock to set up chairs in all blocks of the stadium. The stadium used to have wooden planks that allowed for 30,000 spectators. With the introduction of chairs, the space will shrink, bringing the seating capacity down to 28,000 despite an additional 3,000 chairs added for the World Cup.

“We are committed to provide world-class facilities to foreign players and their team officials. PCA is working very hard to live up to the expectations and we are looking forward to witness exciting World Cup matches here. We would ensure that the stadium is jam packed during all the three matches,” PCA secretary M.P. Pandove told IANS.

“We are installing chairs in all blocks so that spectators can sit comfortably and enjoy the game. An International Cricket Council (ICC) agency will tie-up with the nearby selected schools and bring their students to the stadium. PCA would provide this agency around 5,000 tickets that would be distributed free of cost among students.”

The PCA stadium was built in 1992 and is located at a distance of around 10 kilometers from the state capital Chandigarh.

The first One-day international match was played here between India and South Africa during the Hero Cup, Nov 22, 1993 while the first Test match was held Dec 10, 1994, between India and West Indies. One of the thrilling match on this ground was 1996 World cup semi-finals between Australia and the West Indies.

“Sale of tickets will start Feb 21 for different categories of AC lounge, pavilion terrace, north pavilion, VIP block, chair block and student block. We would also sell tickets through online so that people residing at far off places can also buy tickets,” Pandove said.

The second semifinal scheduled March 30 will be the first World Cup match here to be held under floodlights. The other two matches here are South Africa and Netherlands March 3 and between West Indies and Ireland, March 11.

“All 514 tube-lights fitted in the flood-light poles have been replaced and they would run with the help of four sound-proof generators, which have a capacity of 2000 mega watts,” a PCA official said.

Mohali district police have also made elaborate security arrangements to ensure smooth conduct of matches at PCA.

“We would provide a three-tier security cover at PCA during the matches. Around 1,500 cops and a QRT (quick reaction team) will be deployed to avoid any untoward incident,” Gurpreet Singh Bhullar, district police chief, told IANS.

“We have also held meetings with the ICC officials and they were satisfied with our security arrangements.”

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