One good side effect of Indian Cricket becoming super rich due to IPL and other money spinning endeavors of BCCI is the money being spent on making new stadiums and renovating old ones. The renovation before the 2011 World Cup has completely transformed many of the great cricket venues in India. Wankhede is a completely new stadium now, built from scratch. The new stands in M.A. Chidambaram stadium look beautiful, and provide much better ventilation than before, from the stifling heat in Chennai; the solitary old stand remaining is still an eyesore though. The Eden Gardens renovation might have improved the spectator facilities, but does not seem to have helped improve the aesthetics or atmosphere in the stadium. The decrease in capacity from 90,000 to 55,000 is a big letdown.
The various new stadiums that have been made in tier 2 cities of the country like Nagpur, Pune, Indore, Ranchi etc. are taking top level cricket to these cities on a more regular basis. One hopes that this will also help in improving the associated infrastructure like roads, airports etc. The latest addition to this list is the new stadium in Raipur, that hosted its 1st IPL game on Sunday. I was glued to the telecast to see how it pitted against the other new stadiums in India. From what I heard in the commentary, it seems to be a good one. I am hoping to hear some in-person feedback from friends who attended the match in the stadium soon. Meanwhile, here is an aerial snap that I captured during the telecast.