The only previous World Cup match in Pune - across any format was in 1996 when Kenya stunned the West Indies by 73 runs at the Nehru Stadium, the then prime venue in the city.
Come October-November, the Maharashtra Cricket Association International Stadium on the outskirts of Pune will host five World Cup games, including India’s league game versus Bangladesh on October 19.
After being omitted from the initial list of shortlisted venues, Pune-the headquarter of Maharashtra Cricket Association - made a late entry into the list of 10 venues that will host the tournament proper from October 5 to November 19.
“At the 2019 World Cup, we had MCA’s Kedar Jadhav playing on the biggest stage and would love to see more Maharashtra players in action on their home ground during the World Cup and we also hope that a few of our U-19 players will represent the country soon,” Rohit Pawar, the MCA president, said in Pune while addressing the media.
Despite being a picturesque venue just off the Mumbai-Pune Expressway that first hosted an international in 2012, almost three-fourth of the 40,000 seats are uncovered. While Pawar did not touch upon covering the stands, he stressed that minor upgradation work will start immediately after the Maharashtra Premier League final on Thursday.
“The basic upgradation and maintenance will be complete by September end. Our stadium is one of the most modern stadiums in India. We just have to upgrade minor issues like parking space and ticketing counters. But I can assure that by September end, all these things will be upgraded by September end,” he said.
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