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Varanasi likely to have intl cricket stadium by next year

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Lucknow: Varanasi, the parliamentary constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is likely to get an international-level cricket stadium by the end of the next year, an official spokesman said here on Monday.

The spokesman said the upcoming stadium, equipped with cutting-edge facilities, is likely to be constructed in record time. “The stadium will be operated by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). Under a long-term lease agreement, the BCCI will assume responsibility for the stadium’s operation and management. The board will also contribute a fixed annual amount to the government in exchange for the lease,” he said.

Additional Chief Secretary (Sports) Navneet Sehgal said, “UP is full of talented cricketers. Renowned players such as Suresh Raina, chinaman Kuldeep Yadav, leg-spinner Piyush Chawla, fast bowler Praveen Kumar and amazing batsman as well as fielder Mohammad Kaif are all from UP”.

He said, “UP’s cricketers are doing well in Indian Premier League (IPL) and other league matches. The stadium will help in honing the skills of these players along with other talented cricketers. The stadium will be yet another step to realise Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s vision of establishing UP as a powerhouse in sports, commensurate with its population.”

The spokesman said approximately Rs 350 crore will be spent in the construction of this stadium, which is being built on a wide campus of about 31 acres. “The stadium will have a seating capacity of 30,000 spectators,” he said.

Kashi’s upcoming cricket stadium is set to become an outstanding centre for nurturing the skills of young players not only from Purvanchal but also from neighboring regions, including Bihar, Madhya Pradesh (MP) and Chhattisgarh.

It may be noted that the proposal for a world class cricket stadium in Varanasi, has already been there for some time. However, the project could not get off the ground in the absence of suitable land for its construction.

The entire process gained momentum in September 2022 when the cabinet approved a budget of Rs 120 crore for the acquisition of the necessary land. The land was purchased from approximately 31 farmers.

The land has been handed over to the UP Cricket Association (UPCA) by the government. Larsen & Toubro (LNT), one of the country’s most renowned organisations in the field of infrastructure, has been made its executive body.

Currently, the finalisation of the stadium’s design is underway and once the design and map are approved, construction will start.

Former member of the Indian cricket team, Suresh Raina said, “I am from UP. As a cricketer, I am more than happy to see the gift that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath are presenting in the form of International Cricket Stadium.”

He said that the significance of Kashi holds a special place in our hearts. “Everyone wants to visit this cultural city of the country once. The prospect of having an international cricket stadium in Kashi fills every cricketer, both national and international, with excitement.”

Raina said, “It will be a great centre to nurture talents of players not only from Purvanchal region of UP, but also from Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh. International level coaches, gyms, clubs and pitches will provide them a platform. The advent of Ranji Trophy matches, IPL fixtures, T20 competitions, and Test matches in Kashi will not only elevate the city’s sporting status but also have a profound impact on the hospitality, tourism and related sectors.”

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