The Gujarat University Executive Council has decided to rent out the varsity ground opposite School of Law to the Gujarat Cricket Association (GCA) for 10 years.
The move comes as the GCA had been finding it difficult to host school and college level tournaments at the Motera Stadium,which frequently hosts international and domestic matches as well as practice sessions for at least two to three teams on any given day.
The decision was taken at an executive council meeting of GU on Sunday. The GCA will pay an annual rent of Rs 10 lakh to the university apart from Rs 50 lakh as down payment.
While the GCA has three grounds,looking after the requirements of young cricketers in school and colleges was somewhat neglected,feel the GCA authorities.
Hitesh Patel,joint secretary,GCA,said: The university ground is at the centre of the city. It will be useful for school and college students for practice and fielding sessions. It is otherwise difficult for young players to come to the stadium twice a day.
He added that in cities like Mumbai and Bangalore,the cricket associations are booking more and more grounds to meet the growing needs of budding cricketers.
The ground will now get a makeover with turf wicket for practice ahead of university-level matches. Most of the other practice grounds in the city have ‘mat wickets’.
The deal is likely to bring in double benefits for the university. Executive Council member Manish Doshi said,The GCA will develop the ground for other activities as well. Since the ground has been lying unused,the money will be useful.