Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Saturday laid the foundation stone of a cricket stadium here and promised to complete it within two years.
Badal said Bathinda would soon emerge as an international sports destination once the stadium, equipped with modern sports infrastructure, came up on 29 acres of land.
The stadium would be a catalyst in the overall development of the district in particular and Malwa belt in general, he said.
The State Government would select 500 schools from rural area to train the budding players international coaches to stop youth going haywire.
Member Parliament and Shiromani Akali Dal leader Sukhbir Singh Badal said that the youth of the region had fallen for addiction and it was necessary to wean them away.
He also announced that the Punjab government would soon formulate a sports policy to encourage the culture of sports among students.
He also requested the Chief Minister to offer employment opportunities to the eminent sportspersons of Punjab to stop them from moving to other states.
Punjab Cricket Association President IS Bindra said PCA would fund the whole project and money would not be a problem.
"We will invest the money - be it Rs 50 crore or Rs 70 crore - to make the dream project successful", he said.
On the occasion, cash prizes worth of Rs.1 crore were disbursed to the players who won medals in the Asian Games 2006 and the winners of Asian Hockey Cup 2007.
Manjit kaur (athletics), Mandeep Kaur (athletics), Manpreet Singh (Kabbaddi), Manavjit Singh Sandhu (Shooting), Mansher Singh (Shooting).