New Motera stadium to host England in D/N Test


India will host England in a day-night Test at the newly reconstructed Motera stadium in January-February 2021, it was decided at BCCI’s apex council meeting in Delhi on Sunday (February 16). India also gave their official nod to a day-night Test on their tour of Australia later this year. Both developments were confirmed by a member of BCCI’s apex council.

India, during its 2018-19 tour of Australia, had rejected Cricket Australia’s proposal to play a pink-ball Test. Virat Kohli also later admitted to being hesitant to play in one due to a lack of exposure. However, later in 2019, under the tutelage of new BCCI president Sourav Ganguly, India played their maiden day-night Test against Bangladesh at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata.

Cricket Australia CA Earl Eddings held meetings with BCCI president Sourav Ganguly and secretary Jay Shah during Australia’s recent visit to India for three ODIs, but a day-night Test was always on the cards this time around. Kevin Roberts, the CA chief executive, had earlier argued how Ganguly’s progressive leadership combined with India’s stable top-position in the World Test Championship set things up nicely for the maiden pink-ball Test between the sides.

India will play four Tests on the tour, with Brisbane, Adelaide, and Perth in line to host the day-nighter. As for India’s home season that follows immediately after, the Sardar Patel Stadium in Motera will be ready to host its first Test match. The new facility, also the world’s largest cricket stadium with a capacity of 1,10,000 people, will be inaugurated by the US President Donald Trump on February 24.

Apart from India’s day-night Tests, another important point on the agenda of the meeting was on the appointment of the ombudsman and the ethics officer – a function discharged by DK Jain so far. His one-year contract is set to come to an end on February 28. However, no call has been taken on whether he will get an extension on his contract or if a fresh appointment will be made. Furthermore, no discussions took place on the proposed increase in subsidy for state associations either.

Meanwhile, Rs 2 Crore has been given to the Indian Cricketers Association in order to facilitate their basic setup.

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