In an unexpected twist, the scheduled Ranji Trophy 2024 game between Madhya Pradesh and Odisha faced a venue change, shifting from MPCA Ground, Gwalior, to the Emerald High School Ground in Indore.
The Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association (MPCA) made this eleventh-hour decision due to pending construction work in Gwalior, where the under-construction cricketing facility in Shankarpura was supposed to host the match.
The Shankarpura facility is anticipated to become a new international venue for the state association, potentially prioritizing it over Indore’s Holkar Stadium in the future. However, as of now, the venue is not yet match-fit and missed the opportunity to host its debut professional cricket game.
The Emerald High School Ground in Indore, although not a newcomer to hosting fixtures, stepped in as an alternative venue. It has been a regular host for BCCI’s domestic fixtures, including Ranji games, Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, and Vijay Hazare Trophy matches.
As the match unfolded, Madhya Pradesh won the toss on Day 1 and opted to field first. Their decision proved fruitful as their bowlers dominated, restricting Odisha to 184/5 by the end of the day. Subhransu Senapati stood strong for the visitors, remaining unbeaten on 79(173) at Stumps. Star all-rounder Venkatesh Iyer claimed two wickets, while Saransh Jain, Kulwant Khejroliya, and Aryan Pandey each contributed with a wicket.
Looking ahead, India is scheduled to play Afghanistan on January 14 at Holkar Stadium, Indore, for the 2nd T20I of an ongoing series. Interestingly, MPCA had initially planned to give Gwalior its inaugural international game with this 20-over match. However, due to the absence of installed floodlights at the venue, the match had to be rescheduled in Indore, altering the cricketing landscape temporarily.