Lucknow has been developing rapidly in recent times and several infrastructural and business developments that the city has witnessed are a testimony of the same. Among several developments that have taken place, Ekana Cricket Stadium tops the list. Ekana is an International standard stadium with a seating capacity of 50,000 making it the third largest international cricket stadium in India.
Ekana Cricket Stadium operates under Public-Private partnership and was built during the Samajwadi Party’s Government under the leadership Akhilesh Yadav. However, recently the stadium was renamed as ‘Bharat Ratna Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium’ by current Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Yogi Aditynath to honor former Prime Minister Late Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
The Ekana Cricket Stadium was a much-needed addition to empower sports and sportsmen, as the last time Lucknow hosted an international match was in January 1994, when India played a Test match against Sri Lanka at the K. D. Singh Babu Stadium. Also, Lucknow being the capital city of UP with good international connectivity and luxury hotels was the ideal location to come up with an international level stadium.
The Ekana Cricket Stadium comes with world-class facilities and has definitely taken sports standards of Uttar Pradesh to the next level. It is built keeping in mind the international standards in order to offer next-generation facilities to sportsperson and the spectators. The design of this one of its kind stadium follows the guidelines and specifications laid out by ICC and BCCI for hosting international cricket matches.
The objective is to provide state of art facilities to the sports personals towards enhancing their performance at National and International level. Thus the State Government has left no stone unturned to equip the stadium with next-generation facilities. The authorities have installed world-class floodlights to facilitate night matches. Also, the stadium comes with a Sports Academy for upcoming sports personals for them to utilize maximum resources and prep them to represent the National of International platforms.
— UPCA (@UPCACricket) November 5, 2018
Talking about other amenities and highlights of the stadium, the Ekana Cricket Stadium is endowed with first-class facilities not just for the players but for the officials, VIP’s, spectators and the media as well. The stadium comprises 32 Corporate Boxes, 4 Platinum Boxes & 4 Director Lawns, VVIP and VIP lounge with a dining hall.
It also houses a rehabilitation center, media gallery, commentary box, umpire lounge, audio-visual room. The players’ pavilion at Ekana Cricket Stadium comes with all the facilities including dispensary, dope test lab, physiotherapy area, gymnasium, and guest house.
After hosting a couple of domestic matches including the Final Match of 2017-18 Duleep Trophy, the first international match hosted by Ekana Stadium was a Twenty20 International (T20I) between India and the West Indies, on 6th November 2018. With this match, Ekana became the 52nd stadium in India to host an international cricket match.
What makes the first International match played on Ekana Cricket Stadium all the more special is that India won the match by 71 runs and iconic cricketer Rohit Sharma became the first cricketer to score four centuries in T20s.
The Ekana Cricket Stadium is indeed a feather on Lucknow’s heart. It will not just boost international cricket in the city but also give the budding sportsmen and women a platform to enhance their skills and practice in an environment that is at par with international standards.