There is no dearth of options for cricket enthusiasts in the city, which boasts of a sizeable number of cricket academies. The newest addition to this list could well be from Bengaluru’s civic agency.
The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) is in the process of pitching the idea of starting its own cricket stadium, rivalling those in existence, such as the Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA).
The palike is looking at a 35-acre land parcel in Anjanapura ward to set up its stadium. “The 35 acre land belongs to the government. It was being used as a quarry where debris was being dumped. We had plans to create a big 30-acre park on it. But when talks of starting a stadium owned by the BBMP began, our MLA (Bengaluru South MLA M. Krishnappa) and us suggested this as the location,” said K. Somashekhar, ward councillor, Anjanapura.
Admitting that there were questions over approachability, as the KSCA is situated centrally, Mr. Somashekhar said the ward was well-connected to various parts of the city and would be of use to cricket enthusiasts who had few places to play in.
Mayor R. Sampath Raj told
that such a proposal had also been sent to the former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah. “The suggestion has been there. Recently, one of the councillors said there was government land available in his ward where we can set up a stadium. We will discuss this with the Bengaluru DC and Deputy Chief Minister G. Parameshwara, who is also Bengaluru Development Minister, to take this forward,” he said.
The idea is to offer cricket facilities to citizens for free, said the Mayor. “If children want to play cricket in the city, they will have to join an academy or a club, which are mainly for the privileged and are expensive. We want to offer a free facility,” he said.
The BBMP is estimating that the stadium, once approved, will take two to three years to be completed, and would cost between Rs. 30 crore and Rs. 40 crore. “The BBMP has money for this and we are hoping that there will be some sponsors too,” said Mr. Sampath Raj.
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