Only cricket, please! Athletes denied space at Thane stadium

  • | Saturday | 2nd February, 2019

The stadium is likely to be reserved for cricket for the next few years,” said a source. THANE: The municipal body’s plan to convert Dadoji Konddev Stadium into a venue for hosting international level cricket matches is depriving local athletes, including budding runners and putters, space to train.The Thane Municipal Corporation on Friday announced staging of several cricket matches, including IPL practice sessions, at the Thane stadium which was recently renovated at a cost of Rs 3 crore.Further, a contract has been signed with a Mumbai-based curator to maintain the stadium and cricket pitches for two years, making it clear that the venue is out of bounds for other sporting activities. Interestingly, guardian minister Eknath Shinde presides over the district athletics committee, which is committed to create and upgrade infrastructure for budding athletes.“We have been approached by the managers of a few cricketers from the Indian team expressing interest in playing matches and training here. Sports officer Meenal Palande was unavailable for comment.Corporator Vikas Repale, who is believed to have initiated the idea of converting the stadium into an international cricket ground, said: “We’ve laid special Australian grass and instal- led 47 underground sprinklers...70m perimeter of the ground has been marked as boundary.”“Since the last few months, we have been denied access to the lawn and are forced to train on the steps,” said a local athlete, adding that if the stadium is dedicated to cricket they will have to travel to Mumbai or Mumbra to train.

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