Cuttack: The cricket lovers of Odisha have a lot to cheer about as the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) today accorded Test venue status to Barabati stadium after 22 years.
The BCCI made an announcement to this effect at its annual general body meeting in Mumbai.
Talking to OTV over phone, secretary of Odisha Cricket Association (OCA) Asirbad Behera said Barabati stadium should have the Test venue status since September last year. But the BCCI held back its decision after the unfortunate incident that took place during the T20 match between India and South Africa in the stadium on October 5 last year.
“Following the incident, we had a meeting with the BCCI and assured it that the OCA would strictly abide by the guidelines to ensure that such incident will never happen again. Considering our plea, the BCCI today formally announced Test venue status to Barabati stadium at its annual general body meeting in which I was present. I am very happy that the Barabati stadium has got back Test venue status after 22 years”, Behera added.
He also thanked the cricket lovers, the cricketers of Odisha and all OCA and BCCI office-bearers particularly BCCI president Anurag Thakur.
Notably, a BCCI team had visited Barabati stadium in 2014 to review its infrastructure as a criteria for the Test venue. Though the team had given a green signal for Test venue status, the unruly behaviour of the crowd during a T20 match between South Africa and India on October 5 last year, the BCCI held back its decision.
Following the incident, former BCCI president Shashank Manohar had asked the OCA to submit a report within 48 hours.
Acting on the directive, OCA had submitted the report on October 7 with an assurance that such incidents will not happen in future.
The first Test match was played in Barabati stadium in 1987 in which India had defeated Sri Lanka with legendary cricketer and all-rounder Kapil Dev getting his 300th Test wicket.
The last Test match was played in the stadium between India and New Zealand in 1995 which was badly affected by rain, affording less than 180 overs of playing time. Narendra Hirwani, on a comeback trail, took 6 for 59 in New Zealand’s only innings, the best bowling figures here.