Lucknow has once again missed out on the opportunity to host IPL matches. The venues, schedules and match timings for the IPL 2019 had been announced quite some time ago and Lucknow, to our disappointment will not even host a single match.
Much like 2018, this IPL season started on a frustrating note for Lucknowites. The city had the opportunity to play host for the biggest and the baddest premier league of cricket in the world, yet once again the Bharat Ratna Atal Bihari Vajpayee International Cricket Stadium (BRABVICS; previously Ekana) was left out of the list.
Though initial speculations revealed that Delhi Daredevils and Kings XI Punjab have expressed an interest in picking BRABVICS as their alternate homeground, but somehow they did not materialise.
Delhi’s Firoz Shah Kotla Stadium is set to host all seven of Delhi Capital’s matches, while Rasthan Royals will play all of their home matches in Jaipur. Lucknow has successfully hosted several domestic matches in the past and even the India v/s West Indies International T20. Which is why it is astounding that Lucknow was left out of the list.
There’s still a sliver of hope that Lucknow can hang on. The Indian Premier League has still kept the Bharat Ratna Atal Bihari Vajpayee International Cricket Stadium in reserve and there’s a small possibility that a match may be conducted here.
The venues for the Qualifier and Eliminator matches have not yet been decided so there’s still a change that India’s third largest stadium might still host a match.
Ekana has a seating capacity of 50,000 people, which makes it the third largest in the country and the sixth largest in the world. The stadium has been approved by ICC and BCCI to host day/night matches and has world class facilities for players, fans, VIPs and media personnel. The stadium also has 32 platinum boxes, VVIP & VIP lounges, dining halls & conference halls as well as a media gallery.
For the comfort of players, the stadium also boasts of a separate gym, a players’ pavilion, physiotherapy area, dope testing labs and dispensaries. As the icing on the cake the stadium has an audio visual room, a commentary box and an umpires’ lounge.
So, let’s cross our fingers and hope that the facilities at Lucknow’s stadium are reason enough for the IPL 2019 to hold a match in the city of Nawabs.