GUWAHATI, Feb 23 � A group of former cricketers today visited Assam Cricket Association�s (ACA) stadium at Barsapara here.
The under construction giant stadium is taking a beautiful shape with a lush green outfield. While the north stand of the stadium already completed, work of the south stand will be completed within a couple of months. Claiming this, ACA president and State PHE Minister Gautam Roy said major parts of the stadium have been completed and in the next season the stadium will be ready to host Ranji Trophy matches. Later, briefing about the land and funds of the stadium, Roy said, the land belonged to SOS. But as SOS could not utilise the plot for three years, the State Government handed over the land, about 60 bighas, to ACA. Originally the entire land was a dumping ground and a major part was encroached by different sections of people.
Roy revealed that the ACA officials had to shoulder a huge burden to vacate the encroachers and to give a proper shape to the land. After hard work for a period of four years by the ACA officials the stadium came to the present condition.
On the budget, Roy said previously an estimate of Rs 100 crore was made for completing the 60,000-capacity stadium but now it has increased to Rs 120 crore due to price hike of the building materials. He also thanked ACA secretary Bikash Baruah for his sincere effort in setting up the world class cricket stadium in Assam. Roy also revealed that BCCI will offer a major share of the cost while the State Government has already sanctioned Rs 1 crore. Veterans cricketers like Pulin Das, Anup Ghatak, Badal Thakur, Pradip Phukan, Bimal Bharali, Umesh Sarma, Madhab Talukdar, Dipu Choudhury, Mukut Das, Ratul Das along with several ACA officials visited the stadium.
Expressing their views on the stadium, Pulin Das said he never thought that such a stadium is being built here in the city. He hoped Assam will reach a new horizon in cricket after completion of this stadium. Former noted pacer Anup Ghatak said it will be an unique stadium and perhaps one of the best in the country. �Our youngsters will definitely get a boost playing in this stadium�, said Ghatak. Other veteran cricketers also praised the ACA officials for their sincere effort.