Govt wants to hold IPL matches in Jammu & Kashmir

Home Ministry seeks to use cricket for confidence building

As part of its confidence building measures, the Union Home Ministry has mooted an idea to hold IPL cricket matches in Jammu and Kashmir to send a message that the state was returning to normalcy.

This is an ongoing exercise the home ministry is attempting at along with Union Youth and Sports Ministry. Previously, country's leading soccer club Mohan Bagan had held matches in the Valley much delight of the Kashmiri youth.

Government sources said that the issue has been taken up with the BCCI to hold IPL T 20 matches in Kashmir in the next summer. The ministry had attempted earlier but it was too late as the IPL schedule was already fixed.

The Omar Abdullah government and the Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association had also expressed desire last year for having their own team for the IPL T20 tournament but it has failed to fructify so far. 

The home ministry’s attempt to at least take an IPL team – Pune Warriors -- to the Valley last season too had drawn blank owing to logistics.

For this reason, it is learnt that the state association is also laying down turf and outfield in Sher-i-Kashmir Cricket Stadium so that they are well prepared to hold matches of international standards. 

Sources said that the state, which could not benefit from the liberalization of economy as it was neck deep in terrorism during the same time in 90s, has to be exposed to outside developed world and create aspirations among the misguided youth so that they join the mainstream.

The last international cricket match held in the Sher-e-Kashmir stadium, Srinagar was a one-dayer, between India and Australia, played way back on September 9, 1986.

Otherwise too, the Army, as part of their Sadbhawna operation, has been organizing local T-20 tournaments to engage youth in sports.

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