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SHILLONG | Oct 20, 2019:

The Board of Control of Cricket in India (BCCI) general manager in-charge cricket and games operations, Saba Karim, who is on a visit to Meghalaya, said that the construction of the cricket stadium would require the involvement of the State Government.

“The main reason for building a cricket stadium is to have big games being played. Besides the stadium, there is a need to build a lot of local infrastructures and this requires the support of the Government,” Karim, who is the former Indian cricketer, told reporters after his meeting with the members of the Meghalaya Cricket Association on Saturday.

According to him, a lot of private investors will have to come in since five-star facilities would need to be developed if the Indian cricket team has to come and play.

“We also need other logistics like the airport. There are lots of things which need to come out with it,” former Indian cricketer said.

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He said that they have always suggested the cricket associations who want to construct a cricket stadium that they would need to involve the local State Government to put in place the rest of the infrastructure.

“Unless, we are able to put the different infrastructures, it will become a white elephant. We do not want to see that happen,” BCCI general in-charge cricket and operations said.

Meanwhile, Meghalaya Cricket Association (MCA) honorary secretary, Gideon Kharkongor said that the association is looking at the possibilities to construct a cricket stadium in the State as its long term plan.

Members of Meghalaya Cricket Association (MCA) with BCCI general manager in-charge cricket and games operations, Saba Karim

“The construction of the stadium is definitely in the pipeline in the long run. As a short term plan, we are looking to build more cricket centres in various parts of the State. This will be our top priority at the moment,” Kharkongor said.

Meanwhile, former MCA honorary secretary, Naba Bhattcharjee also said that they will definitely try to explore possibilities of building a cricket stadium in the State. “When we start constructing the stadium, BCCI will also come with 50 percent of the subsidy. But this is subject to the initiative taken by the State cricket association,” Bhattacharjee said.

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Earlier, Karim said that the purpose of his visit to the State was to inspect the progress of the construction of  the new cricket ground and new dressing room at Polo. He also informed that the BCCI had also sanctioned funds for development of cricket at Tura adding that the indoor cricket centre at Shillong is also in the pipe line.

“We got the best people to build the infrastructure and revamp the entire ground. I am hoping that we would be able to complete the development of two cricket grounds in Shillong and Tura in the next six to seven months,” the former Indian cricketer said.

Meanwhile, he said that the biggest achievement of Meghalaya and other Northeastern States is their ability to put up team for both boys and girls tournament.

“The objective of the BCCI to give full membership to Meghalaya was to see whether it is able to build up team or not.  For development of cricket in Meghalaya, sound local and domestic cricket system combine with the good infrastructure are needed,” BCCI general in-charge cricket and operations said.

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