One of the finest cricket stadia in India, the Dr. DY Patil Sports Academy ground in Navi Mumbai was set up during 2007. It is equipped with four floodlight towers that were constructed by April 2008 and has a couple of ends named Pavilion End and Media End. It is the third as well as the newest stadium to have been built in the city of dreams and is remarkable for its exceptional design as well as seating arrangements which ensure that the spectators are always comfortable. The whole ground is equipped with bucket seats as well as cantilever roofs that make columns redundant. All these factors make sure that the people who are there to watch the game get a proper view and enjoy the whole experience of being there.
The stadium has a capacity of 55 to 60 thousand people, making it the second biggest ground in India after the Eden Gardens. Dr. DY Patil Sports Academy is the owner of the ground, which is a part of the Nerul campus of the synonymous university. Nerul lies about 50 km to the east of Mumbai. The patron of the ground is Vijay Patil and the stadium is his brainchild as well. The stadium was erected at a cost of INR 1 billion. One of the top architects of India, Hafeez Contractor, was entrusted with the responsibility of creating the stadium and, from the looks of it, he did a fantastic job!
The location of the stadium means it is fairly far from the main city but that also gives it a major advantage – it has lots of space. The ground is equipped with a smaller area with 12 wickets and thus offers fantastic facilities for practicing and readying oneself for an encounter at the massive stadium.
The ground offers excellent facilities that elevate the overall quality of the game. The wickets here have true bounce – something you can’t say about a lot of other international venues in India. The credit here must go to the authorities who got 200 tons of soil from South Africa for this purpose. The main ground’s outfield has sand-based grass. This ensures that the ground is smooth and the players are able to jump and dive around without caring for any injuries. The ground also has good drainage facilities for this reason. The floodlight towers in the stadium are higher than what is the convention and this makes sure that the batsmen and fielders’ eyes are not blinded by light during the evenings.
If memory serves me correctly, the ground was supposed to stage a limited overs match, most probably a T20 between India and Australia during 2008 but it got rained off. Since then, strangely enough, the ground has not received another chance and of late the IPL matches, which were almost a fixture during the opening couple of seasons, are few and far between. The BCCI is taking baby steps to bring this ground up to the elite level with a few Ranji matches. One really hopes that this magnificent stadium sees more cricket, preferably of the international variety, soon enough.