Historic MA Stadium in making to bid for Int’l, IPL matches

Construction work at M A Stadium in progress. -Excelsior/Rakesh
Construction work at M A Stadium in progress. -Excelsior/Rakesh

*Overcome shortcomings to give Stadium International look

Rajesh Dhar

JAMMU, June 30: The gift of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, first of its kind Cricket Stadium in Jammu (Maulana Azad Stadium) is in making to bid for International and IPL matches after its completion. However, the need is to overcome shortcomings during the ongoing construction work to give the Stadium a perfect International look.
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 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 construction work of the Stadium was expected to be completed in February 2019, but the work is still on and it will take at least five months for its completion, adding around 250 workers are sweating-it-out daily for early completion of the construction work.
The cricket fraternity of the State is very much excited over the development of this one and only International Stadium in Jammu.
“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. Moreover, if JKCA gets this Stadium, it is simply a dream come true,” said former First-Class cricketer, Ashwani Gupta 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, the representatives of the NPCC said that almost about 80 percent of the construction work has been completed. They further said that the amount for the construction work 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, besides 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 and Dope Test Rooms in a modernized fashion.
“Quality Floodlights and Turf wickets in the Stadium will be a delight to watch. There is also a provision of establishing around 17, 500 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.
However, the experts believe that the design prepared for the Stadium have some loopholes rather shortcomings, which need to be overcome at an earliest during the ongoing construction work only.
“The sheds, canopies or you may call them roofs need to be installed over the chairs fixed on the stands, to serve a twin purpose of protecting the spectators from the heat during summers and from cold during winters, and not to talk of rains. Moreover, it has also been observed that practice wickets have not been prepared which are mandatory for holding mega events. And the focus should be on requisite parking area for holding the International and analogous events,” expressed experts.
“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 Stadia in other parts of the State. The Stadium, apart from other things, will help the State to produce International stuff,” said former skipper J&K Ranji Trophy team, Vijay Sharma.
Reliable sources from J&K State Sports Council-the custodians of the facility, reveal 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 also 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.
A bunch of cricket experts while talking to excelsior said that the Governor and his Advisors need to serve directions to the concerned authorities with regard to rectifying the shortcomings in the Stadium to make it an International Stadium to perfection for holding IPL and International matches.