Fri, 20 Sep, 2019

Mulpani Cricket Stadium: A Dream Project

By Asmit Ojha

Photo: Cricket stadium under construction Photo Courtesy: Asmit Ojha

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As a Nepali cricket fan, when I went to watch the ACC T20 Championship final between Nepal and Afghanistan a couple of years back, I could easily sense disappointment of Nepalese fans having lost the match. But, even greater shame in the international cricket community was that we lacked a world class cricket stadium in Nepal. About 10 to 12 thousand people were yelling and cheering for Nepal sitting on the muddy TU ground. Nepal was allowed to host the tournament because ACC favored packed TU ground rather than empty modern stadiums of UAE and Malaysia.

The Dream of every cricket player and a desire of every Nepalese is now taking a shape in the form of a infrastructure rich stadium, located at a quite place, some 10 km far in the north-east of central Kathmandu. Agreed in 2011 between Cricket Association of Nepal(CAAN), Nepal government and Asian Cricket Council(ACC), the construction of the ground is going on full flight with hundreds of trucks of construction materials being supplied each day. In fact, CAAN has planned to make another ground nearby so as to assist players in training with a cricket academy. Formerly being used by the local residents for grazing cattle, this project has lit up the locals' faces and hearts.

A local resident, Tej Bahadur Tyata said, “We were always in the shadow of central Kathmandu and this place has developed very slowly in the past. Now, we can expect some degree of economic upliftment and a chance to foster our business". While, a school boy Roshan Rana Magar said, “I just cannot believe watching international matches in a modern stadium five minutes to my home. It will be great. I want to play there too." One of the construction officer said, “We are going in full pace. We are told be finish this project on time. Hope everything goes well.”

According to CAAN, the stadium will be a 30,000 seater with 2-storeyd pavilion building. It will also be equipped with media room, commentator's room, VIP lounge and a CAN operation office. It will have all the minimum requirements as mandated by the ICC to organize an international cricket match.

[caption id="attachment_5708" align="aligncenter" width="1200"]Photo Courtesy: Asmit Ojha Photo Courtesy: Asmit Ojha[/caption]

The location of the ground possesses its own charm. A panoramic view of the Himalayas and nearby Gokarna Forest Reserve makes it a perfect place to enjoy the game in a natural setting. Given the international progress Nepalese cricket has made in the international level in the past 5-7 years and true passion towards cricket of many Nepalese people, a world-class stadium was inevitable. Now, all we are waiting is the good news, "Mulpani Stadium is being inaugurated on.......".

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