‘Ring of fire’ to light up new Dubai cricket stadium

August 19th, 2008 - 4:58 pm ICT by IANS  

Dubai, Aug 19 (IANS) A new state-of-the-art cricket stadium in Dubai Sports City (DSC) will be lit up by a 350-plus-floodlight ‘ring of fire’ when it opens early next year.The new floodlight system has been installed in the rim of the stadium’s roof in such a manner that it will light up the field and prevent any shadows that may distract players, according to a DSC statement Tuesday.

“The ring of fire will allow cricket to be played during the cooler evenings, and replicate natural daylight,” Macky Dudhia, general manager for sports business at DSC, said in the statement.

“The revolutionary design will create ideal playing conditions and add to the atmosphere inside the ground,” he added.

The 25,000-seat stadium is part of a larger cricket complex in the DSC that is currently under development.

The complex will include the building of the International Cricket Council (ICC) headquarters, an ICC global cricket academy to be headed by Australian legend Rod Marsh, two oval grounds attached to it and indoor net facilities.

Work on the stadium is progressing with the 25,000 seats being put in place, the grass cover of the wicket on and the outfield being seeded.

The DSC hopes to hold international cricket at the venue sooner than later.

“Dubai Sports City is close to hosting the first ever international cricket tournament to be staged in Dubai. There are many national cricket governing bodies that have expressed a strong interest to bring their teams to play at the Dubai Sports City cricket stadium,” Dudhia said.

“The ICC Future Tours Programme allows very few windows of opportunity but having said that, we are hopeful of reaching an agreement soon and making an announcement in the not too distant future about the opening cricket event,” he added.

Speaking to IANS earlier this month, Malcolm Thorpe, DSC’s marketing director for sports business had said that he was looking at having big league cricket at the stadium as early as 2009.

“We are in discussions with various cricket boards to have events here in 2009 like ODI series,” Thorpe said.

As for the latest rage in world cricket, he said: “Indeed, we are looking at Twenty20 very hard. We are in talks to have the (Twenty20) Champions League here at some point of time.”

The cricket stadium is the first of four stadia coming up in the DSC development.

There will also be a 60,000-capacity multi-purpose stadium for football, track and field, and rugby, a field hockey stadium capable of holding up to 5,000 spectators, and an indoor stadium that will house 10,000 supporters for a wide range of sports including basketball, indoor hockey, volleyball, handball, netball and ice hockey.

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