Relaid Wankhede track passes muster ahead of World Cup ties

Mumbai, Feb 26 (PTI) The relaid playing strip at therefurbished Wankhede Stadium, which is to host the World Cupfinal on April 2, today passed muster with the umpiresfollowing the first competitive tie played at the ground sinceMay, 2008.

"The wicket behaved beautifully," remarked umpires VilasKarhadhad and Vishwas Nerurkar after officiating in the semi-final of Mumbai Cricket Association-conducted T20 Trophy tiebetween Fort Vijay and Mumbai Police.

The stadium built at the then Lloyd''s Reclamation groundin South Mumbai in 1974 was taken up for total revamp in May,2008 after hosting the last home tie of IPL franchise MumbaiIndians.

After facing a lot of negative publicity in the wake ofPILs, including a three-month stoppage of work at the SunilGavaskar Pavilion on the east side - the most popular andcheap stand - adjacent to the Western Railway suburban track,the stadium hosted its first match today.

Curator Sudhir Naik was a relieved man after the matchand said a lot of hard work had gone into making the groundfit for hosting cricket matches, especially in the prestigiousWorld Cup.

"There were a lot of difficulties that were overcome. Wewere handed over the central square for preparing the pitchesby L and T (Larsen and Toubro which was in charge of therefurbishment) in March and work commenced. We got theoutfield in pieces to work upon and the last of the cranesleft the ground only last month," he said. More PTI SSR ABC AT

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