The Telegraph
Monday , April 1 , 2013
Since 1st March, 1999
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Ritzy pad for players after rocking pitch

The next time the likes of Alastair Cook visit Jharkhand, they may be as awe-struck by their accommodation as they were by the international pitch in Ranchi during the India-England ODI this January.

In what is arguably the first-of-its-kind initiative by any willow outfit, the Jharkhand State Cricket Association (JSCA) is planning a multi-star hotel in Dhurwa, the proposed site being 1.25km from the Assembly and on a four-lane leading to the stadium.

On Sunday, the JSCA floated the expression of interest, inviting bona fide agencies to a joint venture. Officials said willing parties could send in their applications by April 10.

According to spokesperson Manoj Kumar, the cricket association itself owns the almost rectangular plot measuring 4.22 acres in Dhurwa. “The land had been lying unused. So, we decided to put it to good use. And what can be better than a five-star hotel to house players. The hotel was always a part of our long-term development plan,” he added.

The cost and partnership modalities are yet to be worked out. These are likely to be decided once the JSCA finds its hotel partner. It is learnt that while the former will provide land, the selected agency will be responsible for planning, designing, construction, furnishing and running of the hotel.

“Right from obtaining mandatory clearances from authorities/agencies concerned to setting up the facility, everything will be done by the partner. Land, which is a teething problem in Ranchi, is in our possession. So, we are sanguine, the hotel will not face hitches,” Kumar maintained.

Ever since the inauguration of the Rs 180-crore stadium on January 18, the JSCA has hosted the ODI and bagged two IPL matches, which will be played on May 12 and 14. However, the BCCI’s sudden decision to shift the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy — a premier T20 tournament — from Ranchi to Indore was a rude shock.

The JSCA believes that once the hotel opens doors, it will have an edge over other state cricket bodies and catch more elite matches.

Kumar said the biggest benefit of the hotel would be that it would bring down transportation costs by less than half. “Since the accommodation will be in close proximity to the stadium, one will not have to fret over transportation and security of players and guests. During matches, hassles such as traffic diversion will be minimal too,” he pointed out.

“To top it all, the capital will boast another quality hotel,” he added.

While a deadline has not been sounded, the JSCA is taking concrete steps to give the hospitality sector a tough competition in the near future.