Assam’s Barsapara stadium awaits international debut

The new stadium will host the second Twenty20 between India and Australia.

ICC match referee Javagal Srinath and Assam Cricket Association's secretary, Pradip Buragohain, inspected the Barshapara Cricket Stadium in Guwahati in September.   -  PTI

The Indian and Australian teams arrived here on Sunday for the second Twenty20 match to be held at the newly-built Barsapara Stadium, which is getting ready to make its international debut. About a thousand fans gathered at the airport to catch the arrival of the two teams as the city prepares itself for its first international match after seven years.

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From India’s 2011 World Cup win to a new era under Virat Kohli, much has changed since Guwahati hosted its last international match on November 28, 2010 - India beat New Zealand by 40 runs in the ODI.

Assam Cricket Association (ACA) has moved from the Nehru Stadium to the 37,000-capacity Barsapara stadium, the new cricketing destination of the city. Tickets for the match have been sold out well in advance and there is a long demand for more but ACA secretary Pradip Buragohain sounded helpless.

‘Just the beginning’

“The day has finally arrived,” Buragohain told PTI while conducting a series of meetings for the smooth conduct of the match. “We hope this is just the beginning and there are more to come.”

The mood was jubilant at the Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport when the teams arrived in the evening by a chartered flight. Fans did not even spare cricketer-turned-commentator Brett Lee, who was mobbed while coming out of the airport before being escorted by police.

There will be an official opening of the ACA Barsapara Stadium by Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal ahead of the match. India is 1-0 up in the series after its win in Ranchi on Saturday and it would look to seal the series here before the two teams head to Hyderabad for the last match.