Odisha: Naveen Patnaik Launches Projects To Boost Cricket Infra, Historic Barabati Stadium To Get Facelift


Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. (PTI file photo)

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. (PTI file photo)

Odisha Chief Minister Patnaik said the Barabati stadium will be redeveloped into a world-class sports complex with all the modern facilities

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday launched several projects to boost infrastructure for cricket in the state. He has announced the redevelopment of the historic Barabati Cricket Stadium and laid the foundation stone for the revamping of the Veer Surendra Sai (VSS) Cricket Stadium in Sambalpur.

Chief Minister Patnaik said the Barabati stadium will be redeveloped into a world-class sports complex with all the modern facilities, in partnership with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), Odisha Cricket Association (OCA), and corporates.

Considering the legacy of the Barabati stadium, the iconic clock tower will be conserved as a heritage structure. The VSS stadium in Sambalpur will also be expanded and developed with the best cricket facilities for cricketers in the region.

Patnaik also inaugurated cricket facilities at Berhampur Sports Complex, Shree Jagannath Cricket Stadium and Women’s Cricket Academy, Puri, Sports Complex, Jajpur, ⁠Cricket Ground, Jharsuguda, and 41 cricket academies developed across the State by Odisha Cricket Association (OCA). He also announced that the stadium in Berhampur will be named Mahatma Gandhi Cricket Stadium, in memory of Gandhi’s visit to this place during the freedom movement.

The Chief Minister also announced the establishment of an Integrated Sports Complex in Sitalapalli, Berhampur. This facility will encompass amenities for athletics, football, cricket, an indoor stadium, and more, addressing the needs of sportspersons in the region.

During the inauguration, the CM introduced the Ganjam Weightlifting Academy, accompanied by a 200-seated hostel, thereby establishing the largest weightlifting training facility in the country. He expressed that it stands as a tribute to the popularity of weightlifting in Ganjam, a region that has produced numerous accomplished weightlifters.

In Jajpur, several sports infrastructures, including the Kusuma Complex Swimming Pool, Hockey Training Centre, a multipurpose indoor stadium, athletic track, and football ground, were inaugurated. The foundation stone was also laid for the Rugby ground and cricket grounds, alongside the construction of a hostel.

As part of the event, the Chief Minister laid the foundation stones for Integrated Sports Complexes in Bargarh and Dhenkanal. These complexes will feature various facilities such as athletic tracks, swimming pools, football grounds, and cricket grounds.

The CM emphasised that the state government’s and OCA’s focus on cricket will contribute to creating a conducive ecosystem for the emergence of champions in the state in the coming years. He underscored that sports are a priority for the government, fostering youth empowerment, and Odisha is now recognised as a major sports destination in the country. He expressed hope that the newly established sports infrastructure and training facilities would attract more children to engage in sports.

The programme was conducted across 50 venues through video conferencing, and a significant number of cricketers and sports persons actively participated in the event.

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