Guwahati : The roads leading to the Barsapara Stadium, which is hoisting its first ever ODI between Indian and West Indies, is full of banners and festoons of photographs of Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni.
A banner of Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, welcoming the teams, also makes an appearance. Cricket enthusiast youths, men can be seen wearing counterfeit Kohli and Dhoni India jerseys. For cricket-loving janta, on Sunday, all roads will lead to the stadium, which was initially a dumping ground.
The stadium is officially known as Dr. Bhupen Hazarika Cricket Stadium and nicknamed Assam Cricket Association Stadium. It was inaugurated by Assam CM Sarbananda Sonowal on October 10, 2017 and the foundation stone of the stadium was laid by then Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi in June 2004. Gogoi again laid the foundation stone of the club house and stand of the stadium in July 2007.
The Barsapara Stadium, that can hold 37,500 people, is India’s 49th international cricket venue. The first International cricket match played here was between India and Australia T20 on October 10,2017. The Barsapara Stadium is the largest sports stadium in Northeast India.
The Assam government allotted 59 bighas of land to the Assam Cricket Association (ACA) and after clearing a portion from encroachers, the ACA started construction in the year 2006.
All roads lead to Barsapara Stadium
On November 4, 2012, the East Zone Senior Women’s Interstate One-Day Championship match between Assam and Odisha became the first match to be played at the ground. In the 2013-14 Ranji Trophy season, the ground hosted four matches.
“We have a sport-loving Chief Minister. Hence, when we approached the Assam Government, it was kind enough to release the funds. The government gave us a grant in aid, not a loan, of Rs 16 crore. This helped finish the stadium with respect to organising an international match,” said ACA vice-president Devajit Saikia.
ODI at Barsapara Stadium
It may be noted that Klorophyll (India) Sports Turf Technology & Construction Private Limited has constructed the main field covering approximately 16800 sq.m., which is first of its kind in the entire country.