Legendary playgrounds

Legendary playgrounds

Over a century, some of the playgrounds in Bangalore have become legendary. They served as a cradle to legends, who achieved state, national and international fame.

The following are a few of them. The Central College Stadium housed the Mysore State Cricket Association from 1937. It was the hub of cricket activities until M Chinnaswamy stadium was built in 1970. Many stalwarts like Syed Kirmani, Brijesh Patel and Roger Binny have honed their skills at this ground.

The National College Grounds nurtured many popular cricketers like G R Vishwanath, G Kasturirangan, B S Chandrashekhar, EAS Prasanna, Anil Kumble and Venkatesh Prasad. It was home to many local cricket clubs besides Bangalore Union Football Club.

For decades, the Hombegowda Stadium was the most sought-after by schools in the vicinity and also kho-kho and Kabaddi players. In 1997, during the National Games, the kho-kho championship was held here.

The Chicklalbagh Stadium is located in the busy Balepet area. In 2005, the National Handball Championship was held here. The Prathiba Stadium was developed as a cricket stadium in 1983 on the Jakkarayanakere tank bed.

The Malleswaram Grounds, also known as Malleswaram Football ground, is often used for religious and political meetings. It also has a basketball court. The Dr B R Ambedkar Stadium in Basaveshwara Nagar was built on the now extinct Dasarahalli Tank. This ground has an exclusive skating rink, running track with space in centre for holding all sorts of athletic activities, with a nice big gallery to accommodate about 500 spectators. It took nearly a dozen years and it was finally commissioned in 1994.

The Gowthamapura Soccer Stadium in Jogupalya is the cradle of many a football aspirant. Teens from the slums of Gowthamapura, wearing the T-shirts of their favourite players, are found dribbling and dodging the football on most days. The Sullivan Police Grounds (now KSRP ground) near Garuda Mall on Magrath Road has been a venue for hockey since the days of British Raj. Also located nearby is the Bangalore Football Stadium, which has a chequered history with the construction begining as early as 1967.