After missing out on IPL, Sector 16 stadium finally gets floodlights

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Having lost out on the opportunity to host a number of day-night matches, the Sector 16 Cricket Stadium in Chandigarh is finally set to have operational floodlights by the end of November. This will make the stadium one of the likely home venues for King's XI Punjab as the IPL franchise had expressed interest in hosting games here but couldn't do so as there were no floodlights.

The UT Administration had installed the floodlights over a year ago but the engineering department has taken a while to start using them. Had the floodlights been operational during the IPL season, the stadium would have catered to the high-octane matches featuring Kings XI Punjab.

Says Rajinder Chaudhary, superintending engineer: "There are were some delays in the process of installation and then getting things like the electrical connections done. But all things have been cleared and sorted out. We have installed four generators at the stadium and very soon lights will be tested using them. After the lights are tested, we will be finalising its permanent operation using the electricity connections. By the end of November, the floodlights will be operational at the stadium."

The stadium, that hosted a one-day international match between India and Australia in 2007 after a hiatus of 14 years, was long deprived of the floodlights as the UT Administration had stated it was short on funds. The Administration has now spent around Rs 5 crore on the project. It is learnt that a practice match will be held under the floodlights right after they become operational.

The stadium had also been upgraded at a cost of Rs 5 crore in 2007, when an electronic scoreboard was installed and a special media box was constructed.

With a packed schedule ahead in the season including the IPL and the women's cricket world cup, a lot of cricket action is on the cards.

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