Experts' view will be taken whether the Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium in Kochi can host cricket matches without damaging its world-class football turf, a top official said on Wednesday. C N Mohanan, Chairman of Greater Cochin Development Authority, which owns the stadium, said this after office bearers of Kerala Cricket Association and Kerala Football Association met him on Wednesday to discuss possibilities of hosting the India-West Indies ODI in November at the stadium.
The meeting was held amid mounting opposition from the Kerala Cricket Association (KCA)'s plans to host the India-West Indies ODI in November at Kochi. Cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar and Lok Sabha MP Shashi Tharoor had said yesterday that hosting the match could damage the FIFA approved World class Football Turf.
Both of them batted for Thiruvananthapuram to host the one-day international cricket match between India and West Indies on November 1, instead of Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium in Kochi, which was last used for the U-17 Football WorldCup.
"We are seeking possibilities of hosting both cricket and football at the stadium. A decision on hosting of cricket matches at the stadium without damaging its world-class football turf will be taken after considering the opinion of experts," Mohanan told reporters here.
Earlier, football lovers in the state had expressed concern over the move by the KCA to host the cricket match at the Kochi stadium, which is also home to the Indian Super League club Kerala Blasters FC, co-owned by Tendulkar.
They raised apprehension that hosting a cricket match in the stadium would damage the world-class football turf and affect the ISL season that normally begins in October every year and lasts for around four months.
The KCA made the move to host the ODI in Kochi stadium two days ago after the BCCI decision to award it the right to host the ODI.