Naveen launches cricket infra projects in Odisha

Bhubaneswar: In a major boost to sports infrastructure, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday announced the redevelopment of the historic Barabati Cricket Stadium. He also laid foundation stone for the redevelopment of the VSS cricket stadium in Sambalpur.

The CM said that the Barabati stadium will be redeveloped into a world-class sports complex with all the modern facilities, in partnership with BCCI, OCA and corporates. At the same time, considering the legacy of the stadium, the iconic clock tower will be conserved as a heritage structure. The VSS stadium in Sambalpur will be expanded and developed with the best cricket facilities for the cricketers in the region, he said.

Naveen also inaugurated cricket facilities at Berhampur Sports Complex, Shree Jagannath Cricket Stadium & Women’s Cricket Academy, Puri, Sports Complex, Jajpur, ⁠ ⁠Cricket Ground, Jharsuguda, ⁠ and 41 cricket Academies developed across state by Odisha Cricket Association. He announced that the stadium in Berhampur will be named as Mahatma Gandhi Cricket Stadium, in memory of Gandhiji’s visit to this place during the Freedom movement.

The CM further announced that an Integrated Sports complex will be created at Sitalapalli, Berhampur which will include facilities for athletics, football. cricket, indoor stadium etc to cater to the needs of the sportspersons in the region.

The Chief Minister inaugurated the Ganjam Weightlifting Academy along with the 200-seated hostel making it the largest weightlifting training facility in the country. He said it’s a tribute to the popularity of weightlifting in Ganjam, which produced so many weightlifters.

Several sports infrastructure in Jajpur namely Kusuma Complex Swimming Pool, Hockey Training Centre, a multipurpose indoor stadium, athletic track, football ground etc were inaugurated. While foundation stone was laid for the Rugby ground and cricket grounds along with the hostel.

On this occasion, the Chief Minister also laid the foundation stone for Integrated Sports Complexes at Bargarh and Dhenkanal, which includes various facilities like athletic tracks, swimming pools, football grounds, cricket ground etc.

Naveen said that the focus on cricket by the state government and OCA, will help in creating a good eco system for emergence of champions from the state in the coming years. He further said that sports is a priority area for the government to enable youth empowerment and Odisha is now recognised as a major destination for sports in the country. He hoped that all the sports infrastructure and training facilities being created will attract more children towards sports.

The program was conducted across 50 venues over video conferencing and a large number of Cricketers, sports persons participated in the program. The OCA members including President Pranab Prakash Das, Sports and Youth Services Minister Tushar Kanti Behera and many cricketers participated in the program from Barabati stadium.

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