NEW DELHI: Delhi and District Cricket Association’s (DDCA) has entered into an agreement with IPL franchise Delhi Capitals to look after the maintenance and upgrade of the Arun Jaitley Stadium, previously known as Fereozeshah Kotla.
TOI has learnt that the Capitals management is taking an active interest in helping the association look after the stadium. This is a rare move in Indian cricket where a franchise has taken it upon itself to help maintain its home venue beyond the IPL season.
Top officials from the Capitals management, including co-owner Parth Jindal, met DDCA president Rohan Jaitley and directors a couple of weeks ago. The meeting ended in an agreement that would see Capitals more involved in maintaining facilities round the year. DDCA is set to gain from this arrangement with the ODI World Cup looming. It is understood the initial talks have been around Capitals agreeing to spend approximately Rs 75 crore. This will be besides the Rs 50 crore that DDCA is supposed to get from the Indian cricket board (BCCI) for stadium upgradation in the run-up to the World Cup.
“There have been discussions to set up two classy hospitality boxes in the stadium. The idea is to set up temporary boxes by the World Cup and finish the project by the next IPL,” a source said.
“The stadium has received many complaints with regards to crowd experience during matches. DDCA and Capitals have put that as a priority,” the source added.
“Football stadiums in Europe are managed by corporates to maintain facilities for their club teams. This move will be somewhat in that direction. Now with the Women’s Premier League set to be played in the home-and-away format, Capitals will need the stadium for more than just two months of IPL,” the source said.
It is learnt that Delhi Capitals’ director of cricket Sourav Ganguly has taken keen interest in getting the ground in shape for IPL and international matches. “The pitches at the stadium often get tired by the time IPL comes with the sheer volume of matches played.
“DDCA doesn’t have another ground and it has to organize men and women’s camps at the stadium besides organizing matches. The Capitals management will be coordinating with DDCA to manage the load on the stadium in the future,” the source said.
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