Madhavrao?s dream all set to come true | india | Hindustan Times
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Madhavrao?s dream all set to come true

WHEN INDIA takes on England in the final one-dayer of the seven match series at the newly constructed Usha Raje cricket grounds on April 15, it will be fruition of dreams of Late Madhavrao Scindia and Dr M K Bhargava who wanted to host international matches at Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association?s very own stadium in Indore.

india Updated: Apr 14, 2006 13:50 IST

WHEN INDIA takes on England in the final one-dayer of the seven match series at the newly constructed Usha Raje cricket grounds on April 15, it will be fruition of dreams of Late Madhavrao Scindia and Dr M K Bhargava who wanted to host international matches at Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association’s very own stadium in Indore.

Until now, international matches used to be held at the Nehru stadium. The initiative for the new stadium was taken by the Late Scindia and Dr Bhargava in 1995 and the MPCA had earmarked Rs 25 lakh for the stadium. BCCI sanctioned Rs 4 crore for infrastructure from which Rs 2 crore was used for the construction of Roop Singh Stadium at Gwalior and the balance for the Usha Raje cricket stadium.

Indore is often described as the cradle of cricket in Madhya Pradesh and Indore has produced some stalwarts like Captain Mushtaq Ali and Chandu Sarwate. If any attempt has to be made to trace the history of cricket in Madhya Pradesh, one would have to look at the history of Holkar cricket from 1941-42 to 54-55, Madhya Bharat cricket in 1955-56 and MP from 1957-58 onwards.

The best period for MPCA was during the regime of Madhavrao Scindia. Scindia took over the reins of MP cricket in 1981 and his aim was to develop MP cricket and regain the pristine glory of the Holkar era. His first task was to make MPCA a sound body financially. His influence helped Madhya Pradesh and Indore host its first one-day match – India versus West Indies — in 1983 on December 1 at the Nehru Stadium. Indore and Madhya Pradesh never looked back from then on and got international matches, which also helped MP Cricket Association become financially sound.

The darkest day for MP cricket was on December 25, 1997 when the India - Sri Lanka tie had to be abandoned due to bad pitch conditions.

MP came back on the international map on the same ground on March 31 2001 when, India played against Australia and won the match.

Meanwhile, MP Government allotted lease land for cricket ground purpose. In 1995 Dr Bhargava and then MPCA president Madhavrao Scindia started organising BCCI junior cricket tournaments for under-16 and 19 age groups. Recalls Dr Bhargav,

“Due to shortage of ground and turf wicket, MPCA took the decision to utilise the land given by the MP Government.”  The erstwhile Maharani Usha Raje donated Rs 5 lakh for the constriction of pavilion and hence the ground is named after her.

The present chairman of MPCA Jyotiraditya Scindia following in his father’s footstep also helped in collection of funds for the construction of the stadium.

Dr Bhargav said that Jyotiraditya with his influence could collect Rs 2 crore from various Members of Parliament of the State and he is the person behind the construction of the Gail end of the stadium. Similarly MPCA secretary Sanjay Jagdale also used his good offices with the BCCI for release of Rs 3 crore more which helped in the completion of the stadium.

Says MPCA stadium construction committee chairman J S Anand, “Ninety per cent of the construction of first phase work of this earthquake proof stadium is complete.

The remaining ten per cent would be completed after this match.” The seating arrangement would also be increased from the current 22,000 to about 40-45000 within a year.

The stadium, designed by leading architects from Mumbai Shashi and Prabhu, has a special water recharging facility, which will help keep the lush green outfield green through the year. While everyone associated with the stadium is hopeful that good cricket will be seen on this new stadium, it is also hoped that the bad memories of December 25, 1997 would be erased.