By Violet Pereira, Pics by JP, Team Mangalorean
Mangaluru: Former Cricketer and Karnataka State Cricket Association Secretary, Brijesh Patel, along with the Deputy Commissioner A B Ibrahim visited and inspected the site at Bondel where plans are on to build a cricket stadium here, on April 1.
After inspecting the site, Brijesh Patel speaking to mangalorean.com said, "We are very serious to have a cricket stadium here in Mangaluru. It is not easy to get a large area of land in Mangaluru city. This is a suitable place for the boys to come and practice."
"The ground near the DC office is a public ground. We need good facilities for the boys to practice cricket which is not possible at the Nehru Maidan."
When asked about the Sahyadri campus ground which has started cricket practice, Brijesh replied, "We do not see many boys practicing there as the place is very far, and now since it is a exam time, for three months, they will be busy preparing for their examination."
"In Shivamogga, Hubli and Belgaum, the grounds are ready. In Hubli, we installed lights and have played the APL. In Belgaum and Mysuru, the grounds are ready." He also said that in Karnataka there are many fast bowlers and the focus will be on their activities.
Speaking to mangalorean.com, DC Ibrahim said that the land is under the PWD. "We are developing the city according to the concept of Srinivas Mallya. The district administration is considering Kavoor as one of the centres in the district because it is easily accessible to people coming from Udupi, the airport and other places. In 1960, this land was acquired for the Taluk and DC office but for various reasons the project was not successful. Now the DC office will be shifted to Padil. In the district, Hampankatta has become the nucleus. We need to make the district a multi-nucleus city thus helping to reduce traffic congestion."
"We will use Hampankatta as a commercial hub and as part of this, we have shifted the Mangaluru City Corporation to Lalbagh, Now, the DC office and other administration offices will also be shifted, so that the entire district will witness development."
"Kavoor is easily accessible and we have acquired land for the Rang Mandir. The area will be developed once, we build the Rang Mandir and the cricket stadium. At present, 9 acres of empty land is available, but the KSCA demands for 30 acres of land to have a fully fledged cricket stadium with seating arrangements for 60,000 people. Earlier, people were coming in large numbers to watch the cricket matches. Now because of live telecast, it has become a thing of the past. Many people do not go to the stadium to watch the cricket match; they sit at home and watch the live telecast. Only for the stadium, 4 acres of land is necessary other infrastructure can be built in the remaining land. In Sharjah and West Indies, some stadiums have 10,000 to 15,000 seating capacity. Likewise, we will also make 10,000 to 15,000 seating arrangement in the stadium."
"At present, we have to send the proposal to the government and the government will make the final decision. The Minister for Youth Services and Fisheries Abhaychandra Jain is showing keen interest to have a cricket stadium," he said.
KSCA Mangaluru Zone convener Manohar Amin, KSCA member Naveen Cardoza, MUDA Commissioner Mohammed Nazir and other officials were also present.