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Jamia set for international makeover

Jamia becomes the first University to have A ground with state-of-the-art facilities, reports Anand Vasu.

india Updated: Mar 23, 2008 18:15 IST
Anand Vasu

THE NATIONAL capital is all set to become proud hosts of the first university ground in India to have world class facilities. The Jamia Millia Islamia University will soon have floodlights, an electronic scoreboard and a centrally air-conditioned pavilion, in addition to an ultra-modern underground filtration and watering system.

The Delhi University will also benefit similarly but theri’s is a multipurpose ground and Jamia will be the first university cricket ground with world-class facilities, and this is expected to happen by 2009. Even the Ferozeshah Kotla is only in the process of getting floodlights now, with IPL matches to be staged there.

"We have been allotted Rs 33.3 crore for the development of these facilities," Noor Mohammad Khan the popular Director of Physical Education at the Jamia Millia Islamia University, told the Hindustan Times. "The ground has been allocated as the practice facility for the Rugby 7s, which will be outdoors and table tennis, which will be indoors, for the Commonwealth Games."

While the Commonwealth games may come and go, the permanent upgradation in infrastructure will be a huge gain for this university which has already produced many prominent sportsmen, including India batsman Virender Sehwag, hockey players like Gagan Ajit Singh, Prabjot Singh and Devesh Chauhan and Arnjuna-awardee shooter Vivek Singh.

While Noor conceded that cricketers would benefit the most from the installation of these facilities he was pained at the recent developments in hockey and was keen to do what he could for the sport, keeping in mind the university’s long association with teh sport. As soon as the floodlights are installed, Noor plans to conduct an inter-zonal varsity hockey tournament under lights.

"I want to do something for hockey at this time," he said. "At the moment the morale is low but I am sure if we have matches under lights people will come to watch." The ground was completed in 1989 thanks mainly to the efforts of Noor who convinced the then vice-chancellor of the university, Prof. Zahoor Qasim of the value of developing a good sporting facility.

In 1997 the ground hosted three matches of the Women's World Cup and in 2003 it hosted its first first-class match, a Ranji Trophy fixture between Delhi and Mumbai, and has since hosted six first-class matches.