Randhir Verma Memorial Stadium is the alternative site for the proposed Barwaddah project. Picture by Gautam Dey
Manoj Kumar hopes to do for Dhanbad what Amitabh Choudhary has done for Ranchi.
The Dhanbad Cricket Association (DCA) chief, who was recently elected as the vice-president (districts) of Jharkhand State Cricket Association (JSCA), has taken the initiative to build a cricket ground on the lines of Ranchi’s international stadium, the brainchild of JSCA boss Choudhary.
“Though the stadium in Ranchi is spread over 31 acres, ours will come up on 25 acres. The BCCI has promised to provide funds once we get the land,” Kumar said.
DCA has already started scouting for a suitable plot for the proposed stadium and has even identified a vacant land near the Barwaddah airstrip, around 8km from the district headquarters. A delegation from the association will submit the proposal to the district administration within a week.
“Usually in such cases, the land is provided to the cricket association by the state, but we are prepared to even pay for it, that too the market price, like the JSCA did for the stadium in Ranchi,” Kumar said.
The district cricket mandarins have a Plan B if they fail to get the Barwaddah land — they will bat for development of the Randhir Verma Memorial Stadium at Golf Ground, where its office is situated. “We can easily transform it into a world-class cricket ground,” Kumar said.
The DCA chief appealed to sports lovers and various sports outfits to arrive at a consensus on the choice of land for building the cricket stadium. “I will pursue it with the state administration, JSCA and BCCI to ensure that at least we get the clearance this year itself,” he said.
Stressing the need for a modern stadium in the district, Kumar said: “It is a must for grooming talents to compete in the international level.”
The DCA also has plans to upgrade the two existing grounds of the district — Digwadih Cricket Stadium of Tata Steel and Jealgora Cricket Ground of BCCL — with the help of JSCA funds. These two, having a seating capacity of 10,000 and 25,000, respectively, hold state-level and zonal tournaments like Ranji Trophy and Deodhar Trophy.
A proposal for adding dressing rooms and gymnasiums to both the stadiums have been submitted to general manager, Jharia division of Tata Steel, Sanjay Singh and general manager, Lodna area of BCCL, R.K. Nigam. “We are awaiting a nod from Tata Steel and BCCL authorities,” Kumar said.