Delhi’s Ferozeshah Kotla marks history in floodlighting

March 30th, 2008 - 6:01 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, March 30 (IANS) Around 2 a.m. Sunday, Delhi’s Ferozeshah Kotla became the world’s first stadium to have the ultra modern floodlighting system that will help make the television pictures sharper and slow motion replays slower for better viewing. As huge cranes lifted and installed the fourth and final tower, it signalled a dream come true for cricket in the national capital, where the foundation of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) was laid over 80 years ago.

Installed by General Electric (GE) at a cost of about Rs. 37.5 million ($940,000), the floodlighting meets all the latest specifications of the International Cricket Council (ICC), which wants to make the game look sharper on television and have extra slow replays.

“The fourth tower was erected at around 2 a.m., which definitely makes it a historic moment for the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA). Not only the main ground, but the practice area will also be floodlit,” association general-secretary Saneh Prakash Bansal told IANS.

DDCA, which is often in the news for wrong reasons, has taken a lead in this area of the game, and all stadiums around the world will now have to change their lighting systems to conform to the ICC stipulations, said DDCA joint secretary Narendra Batra, who was in-charge of the installation of the floodlights.

“The latest technology will also provide more clarity to the televised pictures of the game and help broadcasters show extra slow replays as per ICC requirements,” he said.

“As per earlier specifications, 1,500 lux used to focus on the pitch and 1,200 on the rest of the ground, but as per the latest ICC specifications, 3,000 lux would focus on the pitch and 2,500 on the field.”

According to Batra, the heights of the four towers vary as they have been erected at varying platforms, but the top end of each one will be at the same height from the pitch level - about 50 metres.

Each tower has 96 powerful bulbs with strong reflectors, which will also help players, spectators and television viewers sight the ball better.

One of the GE officials involved in the installation said the next stage will be the “aiming of the bulbs”, followed by their testing.

A match will also be played, most probably April 10 or 11, to formally check the lights before the stadium stages its first night match, an Indian Premier League Twenty20 match between Delhi Daredevils and Rajasthan Royals April 19.

Delhi has hosted only two One-Day Internationals and both matches were played at the multi-purpose Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium. Now, Ferozeshah Kotla is ready to host its first day-night one-dayer.

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