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IND vs SA, 1st T20I: Very close to my heart, says DDCA prez Rohan Jaitley on hosting international game at Arun Jaitley Stadium after 30 months

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BCCI has allowed full capacity in stadiums for the India-South Africa T20I series which gets underway on June 9 here.

The DDCA president said the upcoming first T20I is very close to his heart and asserted that adequate measures will be taken to stage the game successfully.

"It is very close to my heart, after the renaming (from the Feroz Shah Kotla to Arun Jaitley) of the stadium there were few games and after that, we were hit by the pandemic. We have to make sure perfect facilities and infrastructure is provided for hosting the game," Rohan Jaitley told Ajit Weekly News.

"All appropriate guidelines are being followed, even if no restrictions are there we will make sure masking is followed by the spectators. It is better to be cautious. The stadium is per se ready to host the match and we are excited to welcome fans," he added.

The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic had stopped all the sporting activities in March 2020 and as Delhi gears up to host the first T20I, Rohan Jaitley feels it is an interesting phase in the city’s cricket.

"Last 30 months have been a difficult period for the cricket fraternity and the society due to the pandemic. We are now seeing spectators returning back, restrictions being lifted," the DDCA president said.

"For the first T20I, we are expecting a larger number of spectators. The South African team has already arrived and they are getting acclimatised to the weather. It is an interesting phase for Delhi cricket as many new stances have been opened up," he added.

Further speaking about domestic tournaments, Rohan Jaitley said, "The under-16 league is ongoing and to be completed soon, there is an under-19 league which started two days ago. So these are leagues which done to make sure best of the talents come up."

The Indian team will play a five-match T20I series against South Africa in five different venues — New Delhi, Cuttack, Visakhapatnam, Rajkot, and Bengaluru. The last match will be played on June 19.

India’s squad: KL Rahul (c), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ishan Kishan, Deepak Hooda, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (vice-captain)(wk), Dinesh Karthik (wk), Hardik Pandya, Venkatesh Iyer, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel, Ravi Bishnoi, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Harshal Patel, Avesh Khan, Arshdeep Singh and Umran Malik.

South Africa’s squad: Temba Bavuma (c), Quinton de Kock, Reeza Hendricks, Heinrich Klaasen, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Wayne Parnell, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Tristan Stubbs, Rassie van der Dussen, Marco Jansen.

–Ajit Weekly News

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