Berhampur, April 11: The Ganjam District Cricket Association has taken steps to construct a cricket stadium, a training centre for children and turf pitches at four places.
“This year, we are going to celebrate the association’s silver jubilee and our priority is to build a stadium exclusively for cricket,” said president of the association Ramesh Patra, who was elected unanimously for another four-year term this month.
The association will build turf pitches at four places — Khallikote College, Berhampur Stadium, MKCG Medical College and Hospital playground in Silk City and Sanjaya Memorial Institute of Technology at Ankuspur, located near Berhampur — for the benefit of aspiring cricketers. The cricket association would soon sign an MoU with the authorities concerned to build the turf pitch, Patra said.
Patra said that though a turf pitch at Berhampur Stadium was built last year for the budding cricket players of Ganjam, it was damaged about a fortnight later because an athletics meet was held at the same venue. The district administration must take steps to preserve and look after the pitch until a stadium meant exclusively for cricket was built, he said.
“The association proposed to set up a stadium and academy over 18 acres at Aruapalli. It will also provide a sophisticated bowling machine for the young players,” Patra said.
“The bowling machine will help young players of the district to improve their bowling, batting and fielding skills. Youngsters can practise even during the off season once the machine is installed here,” he said.
“The association is taking steps to organise national events, including the Duleep Trophy, Deodhar Trophy and Ranji Trophy matches at Berhampur,” said Patra.
There will be a permanent coach of the Sports Authority of India in Ganjam by next June. Anup Patra, vice-president of the Odisha Cricket Association, said the body had now decided to set up an academy and a turf pitch in every district of the state.
Ajit Kumar Mishra, sub-collector, Berhampur, said the district administration would ink an agreement with the association to construct a turf pitch at Berhampur Stadium.