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) matchesin Jammu was set in motion last week when JKCA and J&K State Sports Councilsigned a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the MA Stadium, Jammu. The MoUwas signed on behalf of JKCA by Chief Executive Officer (CEO) SyedAshiqueBukhari and from J&K State Sports Council SecretaryNaseemJavedChowdhary. The MoU was signed with the approval from Chief Secretaryof J&K.
As per the MoU signed JKCAwhich is cricket governing body of J&K Union Territory, would bemaintaining and developing the MA Stadium Jammu as per the internationalcricket standards. JKCA would be developing professional quality turf wicketsin the stadium and will make alternate changes that will go with the cricketstadium rules.
MA Stadium Jammu is the mainsports stadium in Jammu city and has been under renovation from last two tothree years. The development work at the stadium is almost complete with hugeinfrastructure built up done at the venue. Apart from overall development, thestadium has also been equipped with high end floodlights to make play possibleduring night.
"It is major achievement for JKCA as well as cricketers ofState. We have finally been able to get a venue that will satisfy theinternational standards. It is the venue that can host professionalinternational level matches," said a JKCA official.
"Seeing no other alternative our CEO SyedAshiqueBukhari has been moving from one office to other to make it a reality.He took suggestion of professional cricketers and finally MA Stadium Jammu wasshortlisted. With stadium already having gone through massive infrastructurechange it was perfect option. As CEO pitched JKCA case, Chief Secretaryapproved it readily and directed J&K State Sports Council to sign a MoUwith JKCA," the official added.
The JKCA official said that the cricket association is nowready to bid and put its name in front when it comes to hosting top levelcricket matches.
"In absence of quality venue we have been unable to push ourcase forward. Now we have got one venue that will suit all the standards andregulations. We will pitch for hosting top level matches and start would bewith IPL matches. We will push for hosting upcoming season IPL matches and ifthat wouldn't be possible then J&K will likely host IPL matches in 2020-21season," the official said.
"IPL would be perfect to set things in motion for hostinginternational level matches. It is franchisee league but the standards arehigh. If MA Stadium will host such top level match then there would be noproblem for international matches. The dream of seeing J&K hostingInternational matches regularly is not far now."
For decades JKCA has been using Sheri Kashmir CricketStadium in Srinagar and GGM Science College ground in Jammu as the venue tohost professional matches. With the addition of MA stadium into the list, JKCAwould be hoping to host more and more professional level national matches infuture.