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Post terror, Jamia shunned?

When terror strikes, it strikes hard and leaves its scars all around. In the aftermath of the serial balsts in the Capital, it seems the DDCA is out to leave nothing to chance, reports Heena Zuni Pandit.

cricket Updated: Sep 30, 2008 00:13 IST
Heena Zuni Pandit

When terror strikes, it strikes hard and leaves its scars all around. In the aftermath of the serial balsts in the Capital, it seems the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) is out to leave nothing to chance.

Dates are causing a problem, as Delhi’s Ranji Trophy match against Punjab (November 3-6) starts a day after the third Test between India and Australia gets over at Ferozeshah Kotla. Then, the Ranji tie against Orissa (December 1-4) clashes with the India-England ODI (December 2).

Officials had to look for another venue and decided to shift the Ranji ties to the Roshanara Ground.

The question here is why are the matches not being allotted to the Jamia ground, which has traditionally been considered as the ‘next best option’.

Sources in DDCA informed that the Jamia ground was “avoided because of the disturbance” that took place in that locality recently. Sunil Dev, DDCA sports secretary, said this was not the reason and added that matches couldn't be slotted at the Jamia ground because it’s scheduled to undergo renovation around that time.

“We can’t organise matches there as the place is under going renovation for the Commonwealth Games,” Dev said. But HT has learnt that although construction work would start on October 4, the Bhopal Ground — where cricket matches are played — will not be touched in the first phase of work. Even the Jamia sports body is ready to lend a helping hand.

“Construction work will take place but we can make the ground available if required,” said Noor Mohammad, director physical education, Jamia University.

Players however have another explanation for not having matches at Jamia. A player who has played at the ground for Delhi said some senior players have reservations about the venue. “They say that they don’t get good scores there,” he said.

Whatever the real reason may be, the Jamia ground is set to lose the chance to host first-class matches.