Varanasi to get a place on global cricket map


India Varanasi new cricket stadium Image: ICC Cricket

The State Government of Uttar Pradesh (India) recently allocated a whopping Rs 95 crore in the Budget for the purchase of land in Varanasi (City in Uttar Pradesh) – the Lok Sabha constituency of the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi – paving the way for yet another international cricket stadium in the State.

‘The Times of India’ stated that the development brought cheers from cricket-lovers across the State.

While it will be the State’s third international stadium after the 32,000-capacity Green Park International Stadium in Kanpur and the 50,000-capacity Ekana Cricket Stadium in Lucknow, the facility in the temple town will be the first in the Purvanchal region.

‘The Times of India’ further stated that the stadium will not only cater to the needs of the people of Varanasi but will also draw crowds from the neighboring State of Bihar, said many cricket buffs from Kashi while thanking the State Government for the move.

Said former Ranji player and Uttar Pradesh team selector Nasir Ali, “With Varanasi being the PM’s constituency, it has already undergone a lot of development, including an international airport and many five-star hotels. With an international stadium coming here, it will be a boon for the people of entire Purvanchal.”

According to the Regional Sports Officer (RSO), Varanasi, Raj Prakash Singh, the stadium is likely to come up around Gunjari Village in Raja Talab Tehsil on Ring Road. The site sprawls on 31 acres land located around 15 kilometers from the City, the RSO said.

Added Singh, “A team of officials of the Revenue Department, led by the District Magistrate, has already inspected the area and a report has been sent to the State Government for approval.”

Currently, there are only two stadiums – the 10,000-capacity Dr. Sampurnanand Sports Stadium (Sigra) in Varanasi and the 88,000-capacity Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar International Sports Stadium in Mau Yaduvansh Pur, Uttar Pradesh – which are run by the Sports Department in Varanasi.

Continued Singh, “Both are built on about 15 acres land and are too small as compared to the stature of what Varanasi is today.”

Stated Jyoti Yadav, former captain of UP Ranji team who also made it to the Indian cricket team, “It is heartening to know that Varanasi will soon get an international cricket stadium.”

Young UP pacer Yash Dayal, who is playing for Gujarat Titans in the Indian Premier League (IPL), has also hailed the move, “Being from Prayagraj, I am happy that my neighboring City Varanasi will get a place on the global cricket map.”

Apart from funds for the stadium in Varanasi, the State Government also allocated Rs 50 crore for the Major Dhyan Chand Sports University in Meerut, the foundation stone for which was laid by PM Narendra Modi on January 2nd, 2022.

The Budget promises to make arrangement of funds for Khelo India centers in all 75 districts of Uttar Pradesh under the ‘One District-One Sport’ scheme.

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