VCA Stadium @ Nagpur – Owners’ Pride, Everybody Else’s Envy
Cricket is said to be – and I can vouch it is – a gentlemen’s game. And where else would have such game originated other than England. If you ever had followed the game closely, you would know what it means to have a game in overcast cloudy weather, just like what London weather is famous for.
Last Saturday, the same magic was repeated again at the majestic new VCA stadium at our own beautiful city of Nagpur. An on-off drizzle with continuous cloud cover with cool breeze in hot city of Nagpur and a quality game of test cricket at the breathtaking new VCA stadium – that’s what we call magic!
VCA stadium at Jamtha Nagpur was host for the final match of Irani Trophy with Mumbai and Rest of India battling out for the championship. The two squads had popular known names of Indian cricket like Virender Sehwag, Rohit Sharma, Wasim Jaffer, Ajit Agarkar, Sreesanth. However cricket crazy our country might be, domestic cricket is still a distant poorer cousin of the games involving national side. Even after all these big popular names, there wasn’t much crowd, and stadium was thrown open for all spectators for free. Thanks to this free entry, I and my brother decided in afternoon to make an unplanned trip to stadium and enjoy the game in superb weather for some time.
The drive to stadium itself was wonderful, leaving behind the city traffic and zooming safely at high-speed on the smooth NH-7. Stadium has a huge parking lot which is sufficient to accommodate all the traffic for a packed house for an international match. Stadium is walled from all sides, and just as you climb stairs and enter the stands, you are presented with lush green field and a colourful stadium. The whole lots of green, blue and yellow chairs (guess they had too much of orange colour in the city of oranges that they missed that colour in stadium!) are arranged with such discipline, and may be because it is brand new – it is really very well designed and managed. It presents the viewer with such a grand and picturesque sight that everyone is surely going to get impressed. Chair-rows have ample leg-space between them and heighted properly so that you always have whole view of the stadium every time. Although we couldn’t enter into the media-house and players’ section (pavilion and gymnasium and all), have heard that stadium has one of the best facilities available in the country. Sitting in stands it was difficult to make out who the player was (also because many of them aren’t known faces yet of Indian cricket). Score-board also wasn’t clearly visible (there was another electronic score-board but that wasn’t functional for this match). But that wasn’t an issue as the whole stadium has got free wi-fi connectivity. I had good time checking the commentary of match over cricinfo.com on my mobile using that wi-fi connection (thanks to the superb handset that Nokia E-51 is)! Though it was a small motley crowd of students, die-hard fans of game and people just passing time, a good fielding effort or an appeal was promptly appreciated and applauded.
And just like the London weather, rain-gods decided to add more beauty to the already lush green field. Drizzle stopped the game and covers were out on the pitch. We took this pause in game to check out the upper stands. That was one good move we made, for the view of stadium from upper stands is still more awesome. Just thinking of having a full-house for India-Australia ODI on 28th of this month thrilled us. What a great sight it would to see live Yuvraaj hitting Bret Lee out of park and Harbhajan trapping Ponting LBW in flood-lights at this sparkling new VCA stadium! This new VCA stadium is one of the best cricket grounds in world and that certainly makes each Nagpurian swell with that extra pride for his hometown! Nagpurians – do check out this newest pride-spot for our city.
Author Vibhushan Waghmare blogs at www.vibhushan.wordpress.com
Jamtha Cricket Stadium Photos, Nagpur