Test cricket set to return to Brabourne stadium after 35 year gap

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Mumbai, Jun 14 (UNI) Test Cricket is all set to return to the Brabourne stadium with the historic ground hosting the Platinum Jubilee Test match against England at the end of this year.

With the non-availability of the Mumbai Cricket Association's Wankhede Stadium till the 2011 World Cup, MCA authorities have had discussions with the CCI authorities and all that's remaining is signing of a three-year deal on June 18, according to MCA joint secretary Dr P V Shetty.

''The discussion part is over and the CCI authorities have agreed to keep 50 per cent of the club house tickets to themselves and give the rest to us (MCA).'' Shetty further said a formal agreement, for a period of three years till Wankhede is available to us again to host matches, will be signed with the CCI on June 18 when our managing committee meets.'' Brabourne, built on land reclaimed from the Sea, hosted its first match between Lord Tennyson's XI and CCI in 1937.

The venue had played host to 17 Test matches between December, 1948 (v the West Indies team led by Trevor Goddard) and February, 1973 (v England led by Tony Lewis).

A long-standing dispute over sharing of tickets between the CCI and the MCA, which officially hosts all ties in Mumbai allotted by the Cricket Board, led to the birth of the Wankhede Stadium, a stone's throw away and on the other side of the Churchgate Station, at the Lloyd's Reclamation.

The then new stadium, built in a record six months and in time to host the sixth and final Test against Clive Lloyd's West Indies team in 1974-75, is now undergoing refurbishment to improve its infrastructure for hosting the March-April, 2011 Wold Cup ties, including the summit clash.

Brabourne, after giving the right of way to the Wankhede, has hosted quite a number of ODIs and was the venue for the ICC Champions Trophy ties in 2007, held in Mumbai, including the final between eventual winners Australia and the West Indies.

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