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Rio court orders Maracana stadium repairs

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Rio de Janeiro : A Brazilian court has ordered the Rio 2016 organising committee to undertake repair work at the iconic Maracana stadium after it was left abandoned earlier this year.

Rio de Janeiro judge Maria Paula Gouvea Galhardo said Rio 2016 would be fined $30,000 a day if work was not finished within 30 days, reports Xinhua news agency.

Tuesday’s decision came after Rio’s state government argued that Rio 2016 breached contract terms by failing to return the stadium in the same condition it was received for last year’s Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The venue was left in a state of disrepair last month amid a legal battle over who was responsible for the venue’s upkeep.

The parched surface was infested with worms, several windows and doors were smashed and around 10 percent of the stadium’s seats were ripped from their places.

Rio 2016 communications director Mario Andrada said a $160,000 budget had been set aside to return the stadium to its previous condition.

“We recognise that the stadium had to be returned (in good condition) and we will comply with the decision,” Andrada told local media.

He added that work would include painting, fixing of the press-room ceiling, the replacement of broken glass and repairs to restrooms.

According to Andrada, the stadium has no structural problems.

The Maracana was refurbished for the 2014 FIFA World Cup at a cost of $500 million.

It is operated by a consortium led by local engineering firm Odebrecht, which is mired in one of Latin America’s biggest ever corruption scandals.

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Nathan Lyon hits back at Ahmedabad pitch critics: Read his statement

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Australia off-spinner Nathan Lyon said he doesn’t understand the criticism over the pitch that was used for the Pink-ball Test between India and England in Ahmedabad, saying he is “all in” for surfaces that assist spinners. Lyon said he was up all night watching the Test and enjoyed the spinners dominating the proceedings at the Narendra Modi Stadium.

Nathan Lyon was critical of the critics, saying the world “starts crying” only when the pitch offers assistance to spinners but nobody says anything when teams get bowled out cheaply in seaming conditions.

Lyon’s comments come after several former cricketers, especially from England, have been crying foul about the Ahmedabad pitch. Former England captains Michael Vaughan, Alastair Cook and Andrew Strauss have been severely critical of the Motera surface even as India and England’s players played down the role of the pitch for the early finish to the Pink-ball Test.

As many as 27 of the 30 wickets that fell went to spinners as the Pink-ball Test ended in less than 2 days, becoming the shortest completed Test since 1935. England were bundled out for 112 and 81 as India went on to clinch a 10-wicket win and seal a 2-1 lead in the 4-Test series at home.

“We play on seaming wickets around the world and get bowled out for 47, 60. Nobody ever says a thing,” Lyon told AAP.

“But as soon as it starts spinning, everyone in the world seems to start crying about it. I don’t get it. I’m all for it, it was entertaining.

“I was up all night watching it. It was absolutely brilliant. I’m thinking about bringing that curator out to the SCG,” he added.

Lyon, who began his career as a curator himself, said he was baffled to see England play 4 seamers on the Ahmedabad pitch. Notably, Joe Root’s men played Jack Leach as their only spinner while India played 3 in R Ashwin, Axar Patel and Washington Sundar.

Captain Root stepped up for England, picking up a 5-wicket haul in the first innings but Ashwin and Axar shared 18 wickets between them over the 2 days of the Test match.

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