New stadium gets praise

New stadium gets praise
The first ever Ranji Trophy match at the newly constructed KSCA Navule stadium turned out to be an engaging contest between bat and ball.   

The venue hosted the Group ‘A’ match between Karnataka and Hyderabad from October 24-27 and the hosts emerged winners in thrilling fashion.

The Ranji Trophy, India’s premier domestic cricket tournament, is plagued with issue of poor turnout at the stadiums. While the bigger cities have often failed to attract large crowd, it is stadiums in mofussil regions that witness the presence of good number of fans. 

The Ranji game between Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh in 2011 was held here at the Jawaharlal Nehru National College of Engineering (JNCE) and was a big hit with 5000 fans turning up. The response at the Navule stadium this time around was encouraging and the officials are looking forward to host more matches here in the future.

“Players thanked us for preparing a sporting wicket. The match referee gave us a positive remark. The infrastructure has come in for a lot of praise. Some of my team members watched the match from the stands and we received pleasing response from the local people” said D R Nagaraj, convener, KSCA Shimoga Zone.

The land in Navule, near Channamumba Pura village, was bought in 2002. The construction, which began in 2012 (during the Anil Kumble regime), was completed six months ago.

“The playing area was completed three years ago and many zonal and age-group matches were played here since then. The pavilion was constructed six months ago,” Nagaraj said.

For Karnataka captain R Vinay Kumar the match was like a homecoming. “I lived here till my third standard and it feels great to come back and play here. We enjoyed playing here. They have done a very good job with the pavilion and the ground. “When you play in districts the support is more. They get less opportunity to come and watch Ranji Trophy games. These matches provide them a chance to watch their icons and seniors players. In that sense it will be really helpful if we play more domestic matches in districts,” Vinay offered.
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