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Last Updated: Monday, 28 March, 2005, 10:32 GMT 11:32 UK
Delhi 'to be ready for final ODI'
By Ayanjit Sen
BBC, Delhi

Sachin Tendulkar in action for the Indian ODI side
Sachin Tendulkar will be hoping for success in the final ODI in Delhi

Delhi will be able to host the final one-day international between India and Pakistan, according to the Indian capital's chief minister Sheila Dixit.

Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf is scheduled to watch the match at the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium, one of India's oldest grounds, on 17 April.

The ground has been undergoing renovation for months and it is a race against time to get it ready.

But Ms Dixit inspected the ground on Monday and insisted it would be OK.

She added: "Hosting the match is not just a matter of prestige for Delhi, but it's an honour."

Ms Dixit also said security would be tightened for the match since many dignitaries are expected to attend.

The local cricket association president, Arun Jaitley, agreed that the ground would be ready to host the match.

"We are working on outdoor facilities since pitch and ground work has been completed," said Mr Jaitley.

"Kotla will be a state-of-the-art stadium after the construction is complete."

Although the ground will be able to hold the ODI, work on finishing the stadium will still go on for several months and will resume after the game.

Eventually the stadium will hold 50,000 fans but capacity will be limited to less than 30,000 on 17 April.

Spectators will be only be allowed to occupy the lower half of the two-tier stands, said a cricket association official.

With the game less than three weeks away there are some concerns over the state of the pitch.

When the fresh wicket was tested few days ago during a friendly match between local lawyers, the bounce was so low that organisers hurriedly laid out matting on the turf so that the game could be played.

The head of the Pakistani cricket association, Shahryar Khan, is also expected to inspect the stadium soon.

President Musharraf is scheduled to watch the match following an invitation from the Indian government.


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