EXCLUSIVE: Kalinga Stadium turf to be replaced in 2018

By Tazeen Qureshy

Bhubaneswar: The turf at the Kalinga Stadium will be replaced next year, Hockey India has confirmed. Odisha is slated to host the Hockey World Cup in 2018.

Questions were raised on the pitch quality after India coach Sjoerd Marijne and skipper Manpreet Singh had stated a particular portion of the pitch had a ‘bump.’ The issue was raised after India’s opener against Australia which they drew 1-1.

“The last penalty corner we couldn’t stop. There is a little bump on the pitch,” the coach had said on December 1.

“We know about that issue. If anything was serious, the topic would have been raised before the tournament. This pitch is three or four years old, things do happen. We would be changing it for the World Cup anyway,” Elena Norman, CEO, Hockey India confirmed.

“Both the main and the practice pitch will be changed.”

In addition, the stadium will also have two more galleries to increase the stadium capacity.

“The construction work is supposed to get over by the end of May. The pitch would laid after that in two-month time. The whole stadium is expected to be ready by July,” she said.

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