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The Gujarat Lions (often abbreviated as GL) are a temporary franchise cricket team based in the city of Rajkot, Gujarat that will play in the Indian Premier League in 2016 and 2017 seasons. The team will serve as one of the replacements for Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals, who were both suspended for two seasons due to alleged illegal betting by their respective owners. The franchise is owned by Intex Technologies.Team Members = Contract years remaining
During the 2016 IPL players draft, Rajkot franchise picked Indian cricketers Suresh Raina and Ravindra Jadeja, along with Brendon McCullum, James Faulkner and Dwayne Bravo. In an event held in New Delhi, the Rajkot-based team was named as Gujarat Lions and Suresh Raina was announced as their captain.
The team would play five of their home matches at Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium Rajkot and two of their home matches at Green Park Stadium Kanpur in the Vivo IPL 2016.
Stadium or Home
Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium, also known as the Khandheri Cricket Stadium, is a cricket stadium in Rajkot, India. It is Gujarat's first solar powered stadium.
Initially, the stadium was being used for Ranji Trophy matches, when the spectator stands were still being constructed. With the stands completed, the ground can hold 28,000 fans. The stadium is a part of a larger sports complex that will include venues for other sports such as badminton, basketball, and volleyball. It will host Saurashtra Cricket Association matches along with Madhavrao Scindia Cricket Ground.
It is a state of the art cricket stadium. The media box here is similar in design to the one at Lord's Cricket Ground, London. To facilitate spectator movement, there are several aisles between seat columns and lots of entrances/exits for the three stands. There is also a spacious passage running around the stadium, between the stands and the outer wall, to enable easy movement.
A 30-acre portion of agricultural land next to the Jamnagar highway was acquired around 2004. Construction began in 2006 and the total cost, including land, is said to be around Rs 75 crore (around US$14 million). The SCA shifted its offices from the cramped seventh floor of a commercial building in the city to the stadium which has been hosting first-class matches since late 2008.
The complex has two playing fields: the main one inside the stadium, with a 90-yard outfield, and a smaller one outside, with a 70-yard outfield. The latter is used for outdoor nets, and also for district-level matches. The dressing rooms are big and lined with large, luxurious, cushioned seats.
There are more than 60 hospitality boxes dotting the West Stand and the Pavilion Stand but the SCA has decided against selling them permanently to corporates and will only hire them out for international matches. There are even plans to have an academy in the future.
The stadium was in the cricket news when its Saurashtra run machines Cheteshwar Pujara and Ravindra Jadeja make their latest double or triple-hundred.
It hosted its first One Day International match on 11 January 2013. India played against England in a Day-night ODI. The high scoring match in which both teams scored 300+ runs was won by England by nine runs.
It also hosted the only T20 International match on 10 October 2013 between India against Australia during the Australia Tour of India Oct-Nov 2013. The match first saw Aaron Finch's 89 runs knock and then the return of Yuvraj Singh to international cricket in which he scored unbeaten 77 runs as India chased down the 201 runs.
In November 2015, the stadium was selected one of the six new Test venue along with Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium, JSCA International Stadium Complex, Holkar Stadium, Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium and Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium in India. The stadium was the home ground of the Gujarat Lions in IPL 2016. It hosted 5 matches in the season.
On 9 November 2016, the stadium hosted its first ever Test match, which was played between England and India.