ANI Photo | CM Naveen Patnaik launches major projects for cricket development in Odhisa

In a major boost for cricket development in Odisha, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, announced the redevelopment of the historic Barabati Cricket Stadium and laid the foundation stone for the redevelopment of the VSS Cricket Stadium in Sambalpur.
He 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 corporations. 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 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 the state by the Odisha Cricket Association. He announced that the stadium in Berhampur will be named Mahatma Gandhi Cricket Stadium, in memory of Gandhiji’s visit to this place during the Freedom Movement.
He also announced that an integrated sports complex will be created at Sitalapalli, Berhampur, which will include facilities for athletics, football. cricket, indoor stadiums, etc. to cater to the needs of sportspeople in the region.
The Chief Minister inaugurated the Ganjam Weightlifting Academy along with the 200-seat 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 infrastructures in Jajpur, namely the Kusuma Complex Swimming Pool, the Hockey Training Centre, a multipurpose indoor stadium, an athletic track, a football ground, etc., were inaugurated. While the foundation stone was laid for the rugby field 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 grounds, etc.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik 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 to sports.
The programme was conducted across 50 venues over video conferencing and a large number of cricketers and sportspeople participated in the programme. The OCA members including President Sh Pranab Prakash Das, Minister for Sports and Youth Services Sh Tushar Kanti Behera and a huge number of cricketers participated in the program from Barabati stadium. (ANI)

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