The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had something to cheer about on Thursday as it completed the official paperwork for buying 25 acres of land from the state government of Karnataka for setting up the National Cricket Academy.
The registration papers were signed by BCCI secretary Amitabh Choudhary, who was accompanied by General Manager Dr MV Sridhar and Karnataka State Cricket Association President Sanjay Desai.
“We got it registered in the name of the Board of Control for Cricket in India. It will be the first property the BCCI will own,” confirmed the KSCA president Desai.
The BCCI’s headquarters, the Cricket Centre building at Wankhede Stadium, is based on the premises of Mumbai Cricket Association.
“We are really grateful to the Karnataka government. The land, allotted some time back, will be on lease for 99 years,” said Desai.
The registration ended years of uncertainty for the BCCI, which had made a payment of close to Rs. 50 crore to the Karnataka government (Karnataka Industrial Area Development Board) to purchase a 49-acre plot near the airport in 2013. That deal got stuck in litigation and was struck down as illegal by the High Court of Karnataka following a series of PILs filed by the affected parties. It had led to a move in the BCCI to shift the NCA out of Karnataka.
The new land lies at a distance of five to six kilometres from the Bangalore airport. It should be sufficient for three grounds apart from the indoor nets, hostel and administrative buildings. The BCCI is also trying to acquire 25 acres more adjacent to it.
“We want the NCA to be the best in the world, better than Cricket Australia’s academy in Brisbane,” said the KSCA official.
The BCCI is expecting it to be fully operational in two years’ time with grounds ready in a year’s time.
Currently the NCA is housed in the premises of M Chinnaswamy Stadium, where it uses the B ground for practice facilities. They have a state of the art gymnasium and indoor nets.