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Turf lost for sports sprint

When it comes to a race for sports, Bihar is always far behind.

The state may be on the route to development in terms of construction but it lags behind in sports infrastructure. With spaces shrinking, the capital is left with no playground or open place for budding talents to hone skills.

The lack of proper infrastructure has also compelled players to migrate to other states. According to former Ranji player Amikar Dayal, there are many players from Bihar such as Samar Quadri, Veer Pratap Singh, Keshav Kumar, Ashish Sinha and others, who are playing cricket for other states. Quadri plays for Jharkhand and has recently represented the East Zone in the Duleep Trophy, Nalanda lad Veer Pratap Singh, who is a member of the Bengal Ranji team took part in the Indian Premier League V representing Deccan Chargers.

Dayal said: “No stadium has been built in Bihar in the past decade proving the lack of support from the government in upgrading sports infrastructure.”

The former Ranji player said the Kankerbagh Sports Complex, which has been christened Patliputra Sports Complex and hosted the first World Women Kabaddi tournament in March took almost 27 years to be completed. However, the stadium is gathering dust, as the complex has not been handed over to players.

Other sports, too, are victims of government apathy. At the Khel Samman Samaroh function in 2008, chief minister Nitish Kumar had announced to set up 180 stadiums at blocks and district headquarters under the Mukhyamantri Khel Vikas Yojana. However, only around half-a-dozen stadiums have been constructed.

Apart from the negligent attitude of the government, the department has also been stained by corruption charges. Charges of financial irregularities in the sports championship, held under the central government’s Panchayat Yuva Krida aur Khel Abhiyan scheme in December 2010 was detected after Bihar State Sports Authority director-general A.K. Seth wrote a letter to the principal secretary of art, culture and youth affairs department on July 23, 2012, seeking an inquiry by the bureau into procedural lapses and financial bungling.

Kunjan Kumar, a Patna Science College student, said: “Sports is the easiest way for any government to build its image at the national and international level. But in no sport can Bihar boast of excellence.”