Bihar govt seeks Dhoni's views on opening sports academy

Dhoni last week evinced interest in opening a sports academy in the state from where he made his cricketing debut as an opener for the Bihar Ranji team in 2000.

After Bihar was bifurcated in November 2000, Dhoni, born in Ranchi, was the prize catch of Jharkhand.

Dhoni had written to State’s Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi and requested land to set up a sports academy.

The e-mail to Modi was routed through Bharatiya Janata Party MP Anurag Thakur, who is also the president of the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association.

The mail from the Jharkhand cricketer was forwarded to Bihar Sports Minister Sukhda Pandey. “We had received a letter from Dhoni, and were very happy with his proposal. But the brief communication (a three-line letter) did not explain how the cricketer intended to set up an academy. So we have written to him soliciting his views about the land details and other infrastructure required,” Pandey said.

Dhoni had sought land from the Jharkhand government to set up a sports academy there, but the proposal is said to have been stuck in red tape. Apart from Jharkhand, the Delhi government, too, had offered land to the Indian captain but Dhoni turned down the offer.

Now, with his eyes set on Bihar, the Nitish regime does not want to let go this opportunity. Sources said the government is already looking at several vacant plots on the outskirts of Patna (like Phulwarisharif and Maner) to be handed over to Dhoni.

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