I am honoured but at the same time embarrassed, said Subrata Roy,Sahara India Group chief,at the inauguration of the Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium in Gahunje on Sunday. I had long discussions with the MCA and the BCCI regarding the name of the stadium. I wanted the name of the stadium to be the named after the company,but the rulebooks did not allow. Due to this I had to reluctantly agree to my name.
The stadium was formally inaugurated by Union agriculture minister and International Cricket Council (ICC) president Sharad Pawar,chief minister Prithviraj Chavan,deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar and Subrata Roy. On the occasion,the statue of cricketing legend DB Deodhar was also inagurated by Chavan,while the Makers Plaque was unveiled by Sharad Pawar. Ajay Shirke,the president of the Maharasthra Cricket Association (MCA),was also present on the occasion.
People of the village have been instrumental in helping the stadium come up in record time. This is the best stadium that India has to offer, said Sharad Pawar. The stadiums in Pune,Rajkot and Ranchi are vying for an international status. I urge secretary of the BCCI Sanjay Jagdale to send the proposal for the same. The ICC will be meeting in Dubai on April 14 and if by then the proposals for the stadiums reach the ICC,I will urge the members to send their teams to inspect these stadiums, he added.
Sir Michael Hopkins,architect of the stadium,said,I remember the first time when we visited the place in 2007. It was in the middle of nowhere. Converting it into a stadium was quite a task.
The base structure of the stadium resembles a soup bowl with a bigger diameter at the rim and a flat base for the pitch. It was to ensure that the scenic beauty of the countryside merged with the stadium, he added.
Chavan said,Ajay (Shirke) had mentioned to me the problems that (MCA) was facing while organising matches. This stadium was born out of frustration,but it is one of the best in the world.
Also invited were MCA committee members,MCA special invitees,BCCI officials,corporate box holders and MPL team owners.