JAMMU — For the first time in more than three decades, Jammu’s Maulana Azad Stadium will be bathed in floodlights, playing host to former cricketing greats from across the world – a prospect that has already set fans’ hearts aflutter with anticipation.
Built in 1966, Maulana Azad stadium serves as one of the home grounds of the Jammu and Kashmir cricket team.
The last international match at the venue was held between India vs New Zealand on December 19, 1988, before militancy sent the ground off charts for international gigs.
The city of temples will host four matches of the ongoing second season.
The Jammu-leg of the day-night series will begin Monday at 7 pm with Manipal Tigers-led by Harbajan Singh taking on Southern Super Stars, captained by Australian cricketer Aaron Finch.
The match will be followed by an encounter between Irfan Pathan-led Bhilwara Kings and Southern Super Stars on Wednesday.
The match 11 of the Legend League Cricket season 2 will see India Capitals under the leadership of Gautam Gambhir taking on Parthiv Patel-led Gujarat Giants on Thursday at 7 pm.
The fourth and the last match in Jammu will be played between Bhilwara Kings and Suresh Raina’s Urbanrisers Hyderabad on Friday, starting at 3 pm.
More than 100 former cricketers, among them Mohammad Kaif, Yusuf Pathan, S Sreesanth, Robin Uthappa – from India, Shane Watson (Australia), Tilakarante Dilshan (Sri Lanka), Chris Gayle, Ricardo Powell, Dwanye Smith and Tino Best (West Indies), Kevin O’Brien (Ireland), Hashim Amla and Morne Morkel (South Africa), Kevin Petersen (England), Abdur Razzak (Bangladesh), Ross Taylor and Martin Guptil (New Zealand), and Asghar Afghan (Afghanistan), will be coming to Jammu to play in these matches.
“After Ranchi and Dehradun, our next destination is Jammu and Kashmir where international cricket is returning after a gap of 30 years. This is for the first time that 120 players of world fame are coming together (in Jammu) for competitive cricket,” Legends League Cricket Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Raman Raheja said.
He said there has been a tremendous response from the fans with 50 per cent of tickets at the 20,000 capacity stadium already sold.
“Our teams, including former BCCI curators, are on the ground for the last one month preparing for the matches which are happening for the first time in Jammu. The competitive cricket which we have seen so far will be taken forward in the same way,” he said.
The final leg of Legends League Cricket Season 2 will be played at Surat’s Lalbhai Contractor Stadium between December 5 and 9. — (PTI)