Jammu to get International Cricket Stadium

Rajesh Dhar
The State of Jammu and Kashmir possesses abundant talent in cricketing field. It can boast of having some outstanding cricketers, who possess all that is required to blossom at the higher levels. However, the lack of standard infrastructural facilities sometimes serves as a stumbling-block for these cricketers to flourish at the National scene.
For that matter, the development of already existing multipurpose MA Stadium into an International standard Cricket Stadium will go a long way in helping these talented cricketers to shine at the National Level.
According to reliable sources, the City of Temples, will get this Stadium (the renovation/construction work of which is going on) soon in the month of February 2019.
The cricket fraternity of the State is very much excited over the development of this one and only International Stadium of the State.
“The Stadium will not only cater to the needs of thousands of young cricketers, but will also serve as an employer for deserving candidates, besides serving as a catalyst to promote cricketing culture in the State. It is simply a dream come true,” said a galaxy of former and current Ranji Trophy players while expressing satisfaction over the developmental work on this mega project.
This renovation and rebuilding project of around Rs 50 crore, under Prime Minister’s Special Package is being supervised by the National Projects Construction Corporation (NPCC).
Giving details about the Project, Assistant Engineer of NPCC, Keshav Chand and supervisor, Shamsher Singh said that tendering of around 32 crore has already been made to construct and renovate pavilion and the entire fenced structure around the Stadium, adding that the tendering of around Rs 18 crore for developing ground including turf wickets and flood lights is on cards.
They further said that the amount may exceed keeping in view the standard of this first of its kind Stadium in Jammu.
According to the information received from the representatives of NPCC and other reliable sources, the Stadium when completed will have a well established Pavilion, with Standard Gymnasium, Conference Halls, Open VIP, Media and Players Zones and Galleries, and not to talk of the customary Dressing and Changing Rooms.
The design prepared by the Engineering Wing of NPCC shows that the Stadium will have a well established Match Referee Rooms, Umpires Rooms, Medical Rooms an Dope Test Rooms in a modernized fashion.
“Quality Floodlights and Typical Turf wickets in the Stadium will be a delight to watch. There is also a provision of establishing around 20, 000 seats in the entire Stadium, including VIP Galleries in the Pavilion,” the information added.
The Stadium when completed will make the State eligible to host mega cricketing events in its arena, otherwise, J&K despite striving hard from a last decade or so, has yet to succeed in developing International Standard Cricket Stadium.
The jaundiced Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association (JKCA) after identifying the land at Bajalta for proposed Cricket Stadium, way back in 2011, is yet to give this proposal a practical shape.
Keeping all these things in mind the rebuilding of MA Stadium into an exclusive Cricket Stadium, is simply a great initiative and this endeavour will surely serve Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association as a guiding force with regard to development of International Stadium at Bajalta in Jammu also.
However, one gets a feeling that the closure of multipurpose MA Stadium is serving and will serve as a death-knell for other sports disciplines as the players of many games used to receive training from their coaches and trainers at this venue.
In this regard, the former Secretary J&K State Sports Council, Waheed-ur-Rehman Parra had already issued a statement that the games and sports being played at MA Stadium will be shifted to newly constructed Indoor Hall which will soon be thrown open and the existing Indoor Complex, will be further upgraded. Mr Parra had also stated that after completion of the Stadium, it will be looked after by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), while the Sports Authority of India (SAI) and J&K State Sports Council will be service providers only.
“Hosting International or an IPL match is always an uphill task. If the State manages to do so after the completion of the Stadium, it will be a step forward in producing International stuff from Jammu and Kashmir. The initiative will provide an opportunity to the young and talented cricketers of the State to watch the players of great repute performing in J&K, who will motivate them to follow their footsteps. Training in quality atmosphere helps in honing skill to perfection. Thus development of International Stadium is a great initiative,” said a well known Cricket Coach while feeling satisfaction and giving vent to his feelings.