Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath today asked the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to construct the country’s biggest cricket stadium having a seating capacity of 75,000 in Ghaziabad.
The foundation laying of the proposed stadium is likely to be held next month when the Adityanath government formally launches industrial and infrastructure projects totalling more than Rs 1 trillion.
The CM said currently the Eden Gardens cricket stadium, Kolkata having a capacity of 65,000 seats was the biggest in the country, even as he said a much bigger stadium in the National Capital Region (NCR) would reap the advantage of prime location.
The proposed Ghaziabad stadium would be developed by the BCCI, for which the land has been identified. Recently, UP Cricket Association (UPCA) representatives had met UP industrial development minister Satish Mahana in this regard. Mahana was chairing a meeting to review the preparation of projects for which the foundation laying ceremony is proposed next month.
Earlier, the Ghaziabad stadium was touted to have a seating capacity of about 45,000 and to be completed by 2019, however, the project got invariably delayed.
Currently, only Green Park Stadium, Kanpur in UP is deemed fit for holing international matches. Although, Lucknow’s K D Singh Babu stadium had in the past hosted a few international ties, however, it has fell out of favour owing to lack of infrastructure facilities.
Adityanath was addressing a gathering after inaugurating Ekana International Cricket Stadium here. Yesterday, the state government had announced the renaming of the stadia as ‘Bharat Ratan Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana International Cricket Stadium’ after the late prime minister, who had represented Lucknow multiple times in Lok Sabha.
This evening, the Lucknow stadium will host its maiden international match, to be played this evening between India and West Indies. The two nations will have a face off in the 2nd T20 tie with the host team already leading the series 1-0.
Adityanath also announced that a mini stadium would be developed at every block level in the state, while every village needed to be provided with a play ground for grooming the children in sports of their choice.
Meanwhile, Lucknow is hosting an international cricket tie after 24 years. K D Singh Babu stadium had hosted a Test match between India and Sri Lanka in January 1994, which the hosts went on to win by an innings and 119 runs.
Ekana stadium has a seating capacity of 50,000 and is located off Shaheed Path, a 23 km direct link road between the busy Faizabad road and Kanpur road. It was a dream project of Vajpayee during his tenure as the PM. This was one of the reasons that it was renamed after the departed leader, who passed away this year after a prolonged illness.