Greater Noida’s newly built cricket stadium will now officially serve as the home ground for Afghanistan cricketers.
The decision came into effect on December 10, 2015, when Greater Noida Industrial Development Authority (GNIDA), the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU).
The MoU was signed at Delhi’s Constitution Club and it was also agreed that the ACB will pay Rs 75 lakh per month to the Greater Noida authority for using the stadium.
Furthermore, the newly built Great Noida Stadium will see its first international match this week itself, when on December 13, 2015, Afghanistan’s under-19 cricket team will play their first one-day match against Zimbabwe’s under-19 team.
Speaking at Thursday’s MoU signing event, Rama Raman, chairman of the Greater Noida Authority said:
“We are more than happy to host Afghanistan cricketers, who have shifted their base to Greater Noida from Sharjah, their earlier home ground. UP chief minister Akhilesh Yadav was very keen on offering the stadium to Afghanistan. He had directed us to make modifications in the stadium as suggested by the cricket experts to make it an international ground. We prepared the stadium and the pitch in a shot span of time because the UP government wanted to grab this opportunity…We are confident that we will host many international cricket events in the times to come.”
The event was attended by BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur, Uttar Pradesh cricket association secretary Rajeev Shukla and Shafiq Stanikzai, CEO of Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB).
The 39 acres stadium, is located next to Great Noida’s famous Jaypee Resort and has already hosted this year’s UP-Vadodara Ranji cricket tournament.
ACB decided to shift their home base to Greater Noida as none of the associate nation teams or full member teams were willing to travel to the terror-hit country to play the matches.
Till recently, the Afghan cricket team was playing their international matches in Sharjah and domestic cricket in Kabul.