IPL chairman Rajeev Shukla has acknowledged that Lucknow could host a few matches of the upcoming edition of the IPL but a final decision would be taken after consultation with the board members. The Ekana International Cricket Stadium is hosting a Ranji Trophy match between Andhra and Hyderabad.
"We can't confirm if IPL will be held in Lucknow next year. But if the arrangements are made according to international standards, matches can be held. The board is going to inspect the facilities before taking a decision," Shukla told TOI.
Shukla also confirmed that the UPCA is planning to build a new international standard stadium near Delhi, for which the land has already been acquired.
"More stadia means more cricket and that is going to be good for the game," Shukla added.
"It's an amazing ground. The wicket is very sporting but because of the winter conditions the fast bowlers were getting a lot of purchase. On the whole, it was a very enjoyable experience for us. By the time the IPL starts, it will be early summer and I am sure the wicket will be a good one to bat on," said Andhra captain Gade Vihari, whose team managed to finish their first innings with a score of 190 after succumbing 51-4 in the early parts of the match.
Hyderabad's Akshath Reddy, who averages 48.07 runs in First-class cricket, echoed the views of his counterpart, going as far as to claim that the wicket could become one of the best in the country.
"The fast bowlers had a field day as they got a lot of movement off the wicket and in the air too. The outfield is fabulous and once the stadium is completed, I think it will be one of the best in the country," Hyderabad batsman Akshath Reddy added.
It's not just players who are praising the pitch with Hyderabad assistant coach Zakir Hussain calling it a sporting wicket.
"It's a wonderful setting and very good for cricket. It's a sporting wicket with something in it for the pacers and once the batsmen settle down they can play their strokes," Hussain said.