The Kerala Cricket Association's decision to host an India-West Indies ODI in Kochi's Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in November has received widespread criticism from the sporting fraternity.

The decision is being scorned at because the turf at the stadium will have to be completely dug up and re-laid for the cricket match, months after it was meticulously prepared for the FIFA U-17 World Cup. Kochi played host to Group D matches and a quarterfinal match, which featured the likes of Brazil and eventual runner-up Spain.

The Greater Cochin Development Authority acts as the guardian body for the stadium and as per its agreement with the Kerala Cricket Association (KCA), there is a provision which states that no football matched will be held at the stadium in the window of an international cricket match and vice-versa.

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The timing of the tie is very crucial as it could potentially hamper the preparations of the local team Kerala Blasters, which participates in the Indian Super League. It is to be noted that when a similar incident had occurred in 2014 during a similar West Indies tour of India, an ODI was held at the stadium and the Kerala Blasters' played a string of away games and had their home matches postponed.

While the fourth edition of the ISL had been delayed by a month owing to the U-17 World Cup, the fifth and upcoming edition is likely to begin in early October.

The likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Shashi Tharoor and Indian football captain Sunil Chhetri have all voiced their displeasure towards the KCA's move, with the hashtag #SaveKochiTurf trending on Twitter.



The KCA has called for a press meet on Wednesday and an official decision is expected post that.