J&K likely to host IPL matches in 2020-21

Dream of J&K’s cricket lovers to see IPL matches in their home town is going to come true as J&K Cricket Association (JKCA) plans to host cash rich cricket league matches in Jammu city in 2020-21 season.

The plan for hosting the Indian Premiere League (IPL) matches in Jammu was set in motion last week when JKCA and J&K State Sports Council signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the MA Stadium, Jammu. The MoU was signed on behalf of JKCA by Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Syed AshiqueBukhari and from J&K State Sports Council Secretary NaseemJavedChowdhary. The MoU was signed with the approval from Chief Secretary of J&K.

As per the MoU signed JKCA which is cricket governing body of J&K Union Territory, would be maintaining and developing the MA Stadium Jammu as per the international cricket standards. JKCA would be developing professional quality turf wickets in the stadium and will make alternate changes that will go with the cricket stadium rules. 

MA Stadium Jammu is the main sports stadium in Jammu city and has been under renovation from last two to three years. The development work at the stadium is almost complete with huge infrastructure built up done at the venue. Apart from overall development, the stadium has also been equipped with high end floodlights to make play possible during night.

“It is major achievement for JKCA as well as cricketers of State. We have finally been able to get a venue that will satisfy the international standards. It is the venue that can host professional international level matches,” said a JKCA official.

 “Seeing no other alternative our CEO Syed AshiqueBukhari has been moving from one office to other to make it a reality. He took suggestion of professional cricketers and finally MA Stadium Jammu was shortlisted. With stadium already having gone through massive infrastructure change it was perfect option. As CEO pitched JKCA case, Chief Secretary approved it readily and directed J&K State Sports Council to sign a MoU with JKCA,” the official added.

The JKCA official said that the cricket association is now ready to bid and put its name in front when it comes to hosting top level cricket matches.

“In absence of quality venue we have been unable to push our case forward. Now we have got one venue that will suit all the standards and regulations. We will pitch for hosting top level matches and start would be with IPL matches. We will push for hosting upcoming season IPL matches and if that wouldn’t be possible then J&K will likely host IPL matches in 2020-21 season,” the official said.

“IPL would be perfect to set things in motion for hosting international level matches. It is franchisee league but the standards are high. If MA Stadium will host such top level match then there would be no problem for international matches. The dream of seeing J&K hosting International matches regularly is not far now.”

For decades JKCA has been using Sheri Kashmir Cricket Stadium in Srinagar and GGM Science College ground in Jammu as the venue to host professional matches. With the addition of MA stadium into the list, JKCA would be hoping to host more and more professional level national matches in future.