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BHA offers MCA space for expansion

August 17, 2006 18:42 IST

Mumbai Cricket Association's Wankhede Stadium has been offered space to expand southwards by the adjacent Bombay Hockey Association which, in turn, wants the MCA and BCCI's help to relocate its own premises within the Churchgate railway station periphery.

To discuss this proposal which would help the cramped Wankhede Stadium to undergo extension and much-needed revamping ahead of the 2011 Cricket World Cup, BHA secretary Commander Kehar Singh, will meet Pawar in Delhi on August 20.

"I was scheduled to meet Pawar tomorrow in Delhi, but since he was busy with the BCCI meetings in Chennai, he has asked me to meet him at Delhi on Sunday to discuss our proposal," Singh said on Thursday.

"Our proposal to the MCA is -- take the entire BHA premises that we are occupying at present -- but in turn get us the exhibition ground which lies opposite Western Railway booking office near the Churchgate station, where BHA was earlier located.

"We also want the adjacent Karnakata Sports Association ground, who can shift further towards the Bombay Hospital, so that we can lay two artificial turfs, build accommodations for players and building for our offices," Singh said.

"If this happens we can hold major international tournaments like the Champions Trophy etc. We have also been promised two astro-turfs by the Sports Authority of India and these will be laid at the [Bombay University's] Kalina campus and at SAI's Kandivli centre," Singh said.

Asked how he expects Pawar to help the BHA in taking over the exhibition ground and the adjacent Karnataka Sports Association ground, Singh said: "they are also leased lands and he belongs to the government."

"The MCA can then expand to accommodate even a car park if they want", the BHA official said.

MCA's joint secretary Lalchand Rajput said the cricket association has already engaged an architect to provide suggestions on ways to revamp the 30-year old Wankhede Stadium.

"We have engaged Arun Lumba of Chandigarh to give us suggestions on how to revamp the stadium. He has been connected with the designing of the Mohali cricket stadium," Rajput said.

"The decision to revamp the Wankhede Stadium was taken at the MCA's managing committee meeting on July 9," the former Test opener said.

The matter is expected to come up for discussion at the MCA's managing committee meeting on August 22.

Incidentally, the BCCI has decided to give Rs 25 crore to each of its affiliated units for infrastructure development.


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