Using upgraded MA Stadium for festivals to blow death-knell for sports

Condition of MA Stadium after Republic Day 2020 celebration.-Excelsior/Rakesh
Condition of MA Stadium after Republic Day 2020 celebration.-Excelsior/Rakesh

‘Custom to serve stumbling-block for promotion of games’
*Defeats idea of hosting IPL matches in Jammu
Excelsior Sports Correspondent
JAMMU, Jan 30: Notwithstanding the Government’s commitment in raising infrastructural facilities and promoting sports and games in every nook and corner of the Union Territory, the upgraded MA Stadium is still used for celebrating National festivals to blow a death-knell for sports and games, thus defeating the Government’s idea of hosting IPL matches at this International standard cricket facility in Jammu.
Despite the fact that the sports fraternity of Jammu and Kashmir, especially the cricketers’ criticism over the Govt’s decision of holding 2020 Republic Day function at MA Stadium, the function was held at the same venue to badly affect the turf and deteriorate the condition of the outfield.
“The Government’s decision of organising Republic Day function is simply going to blow a death-knell for sports and games in the Union Territory. In view of the construction work of stadium, Republic Day 2019 function was held at the University of Jammu, after raising a full-fledged infrastructure. For good health of sports, the Govt should have used the same venue this time also but it used the upgraded MA Stadium,” said a group of prominent cricketers while talking to EXCELSIOR.
“How shocking is it to observe that the Government held the 2020 R Day function at the cost of sports, especially when the infrastructure is exclusively being raised by the Lieutenant Governor’s Administration and plans are also in pipeline to host IPL matches,” said a First Class cricketer on the condition of anonymity.
He said that the players’ community must raise their voice against this decision of the Government.
They said the players were hopeful that the Stadium will now be used by the cricketers only and the venue will become Mecca for the gentleman’s game.
“It is really sad that the Stadium is being used for Republic Day celebrations. How can the venue be maintained for IPL matches, if it has to be used for rehearsals,” maintained the cricketers.
Meanwhile, during a visit of this Correspondent at the venue, he observed lots of path holes and pits deteriorating the condition of the outfield.
“If the Republic Day function is organised at M A Stadium, then this picturesque venue may not remain in good condition to host matches of national and international levels,” said J&K’s cricketer of great repute while expressing anonymity.
“The Government must seriously think over such decisions and let the M A Stadium exclusively remain for cricket to help Union Territory and its sportspersons to flourishing,” he expressed.
“Proper establishment and maintenance of the Stadium will boost the regional economy and Tourism of the J&K. We must take a leaf from the book of neighbouring State of Himachal Pradesh, where the Dharamsala and other cricket stadia are not only a venue for cricket matches, but also acting as a big tourism industry for the State,” said senior sportsperson.
The beautiful Stadium, when completed, will have a well-established Pavilion, with Standard Gymnasium, Conference Halls, Open VIP, Media and Player Zones and Galleries, and not to talk of the customary Dressing and Changing Rooms, besides Match Referee Rooms, Umpires Rooms, Medical Rooms and Dope Test Rooms, in a modernised fashion.
There will also be a provision for establishing around 20,000 seats in the entire Stadium, including VIP Galleries in the Pavilion.
To preserve sanctity and spirit of sports and games, the Government needs to fulfil the long-pending demands of the sportspersons, sports lovers and enthusiasts and avoid using this facility for functions other than sports, as they want the government to come up with a separate venue to host such functions.
The turf wickets need a lot of care to be maintained and when the Government talks of holding national level matches, then there is no question of organising festivals.


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