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Maiden Madhya Pradesh Cricket League kicks off at newly built cricket stadium at Shankarpur

Union minister Jyotiraditya Scindia said it is a proud privilege for the Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association (MPCA) to have two international level cricket association, one in Gwalior and one in Indore.
Last Updated : 15 June 2024, 17:37 IST

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Bhopal: Amid much fanfare the maiden MPL (Madhya Pradesh Cricket League) was kicked off at newly developed cricket stadium on the outskirts of Gwalior on Saturday. The newly built cricket stadium at Shankarpur was developed at an estimated cost of Rs 210 cr and is spread over 60 bigha (approximately 37 acres) area.

A galaxy of VVIPs, including CM Dr Mohan Yadav, Union telecom minister Jyotiraditya Scindia, BCCI general secretary Jay Shah, former Indian cricket captain Kapil Dev, graced the event.

Other dignitaries included MPCA (Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association) president Abhilash Khandekar, GDCA (Gwalior Division Cricket Association) vice-president Mahanaaryaman Scindia, GDCA president Prashant Mehta, MPCA officials, and other ministers.

Speaking on this occasion, CM Dr Mohan Yadav complimented Union minister Jyotiraditya Scindia for his extraordinary efforts including his team to finish the job within stipulated time period. He also assured MPCA and GDCA would get all possible help from the state government.

Union minister Jyotiraditya Scindia said it is a proud privilege for MPCA to have two international level cricket association, one in Gwalior and one in Indore.

Scindia also demanded an additional sum of Rs 100 cr from BCCI to complete the second phase of stadium construction — a proposal that was accepted by BCCI general secretary Shah immediately. BCCI general secretary Shah lauded the efforts of MPCA as well as Union minister Scindia and his passion for the sports.

Out of 38 cricket associations working under BCCI, the performance of MPCA has been exceptional, added Shah.

After getting a nod from the BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India), the GDCA (Gwalior Division Cricket Association) is organizing the MP league on the lines of IPL (Indian Premier League) from 15th June and 23rd June 2024.

The league will be hosted under the aegis of MPCA (Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association) and BCCI at the newly developed state of art stadium at Shankarpur, on the outskirts of Gwalior, MP.

The stadium was named after Madhavrao Scindia. After the colorful launched of inaugural function the MPL first T-20 match between Gwalior Cheetahs v/s Malwa Panther was played at 7.30 pm on floodlights on Saturday. The final match will be played on 23rd June and winner team will get price money of Rs 10 lakh while 5 lakh to runner-up team.

The MP League comprises of 5 teams: Gwalior Cheetahs (owner Madhav Singhania), Bhopal Leopards (owner Abhishek Gupta), Jabalpur Lions (owner Kartikeya Rao), Malwa Panthers (owner Pawan Singhania), and Rewa Jaguars (owner Alok Birla). They will compete each other at newly built stadium named after Madhavrao Scindia. Earlier the GDCA had invited expression of interest for running the franchisees.

Vice president of GDCA Mahanaaryaman Scindia in an exclusive conversation with DH stated that he was thrilled and excited with hoisting of MPL in Gwalior. "I drew inspiration from Dadaji (grandfather Madhavrao Scindia) who was passionate cricket lover and one of the pioneers to start cricket league in those days. Earlier it (league) was played with so much simplicity and I have heart many stories about those tournaments. So, I wanted to replicate/recreate and re-live the same energy/passion to achieve certain goals."

He added, the MPL league is unique from Rajasthan or Uttar Pradesh League in many ways. It will be technically more advanced having DRS facility and matches will be live telecast/OTT through Jio on national TV.

"I have set an ambitious target to promote cricket and players, propel them at national level, provide job opportunities and participation of stakeholders (players, coaches, public media, business community). Initially team owners have promised to provide jobs at least to 6 players (3 male and 3 women) in each team. Besides scholarship support to players from various Institutions," he asserted.

Mahanaaryaman Scindia said it is just beginning of incredible journey in the order of establishing a top class premier league for the aspiring cricketers of MP. "Our aim is to provide them with a platform not only showcases their talent but also propel them onto the national stage. Only MP players who have represented the state at various levels including international, Ranji Trophy, U-23 and U-19 matches can take part in this league. There will be no player auction for the inaugural season."

"The BCCI has been encouraging state associations to conduct their own premier leagues. It opened an application window in 2023 and GDCA seized the opportunity besides Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan also have their own leagues," added Scindia.

Scindia replied that though he lend helping support to his father (Jyotiraditya Scindia) during the election campaign, he has other priorities to fulfill at this moment. He is focused on cricket promotion, his startups and other responsibilities as demanded by his family.

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Published 15 June 2024, 17:37 IST

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