After discovering that an open space plot, which had been leased out to top cricketers in 2007 for a cricket academy is not being used, the suburban collector has asked the state government to cancel the lease agreement and reclaim the land.
A plot measuring more than 20,000 sqm at Bandra (East) was leased out to the Culture Cricket Academy four years ago for a period of 30 years at an annual rent of Rs98,104. The academy had named a former India batsman and former captain of the Indian women’s team Diana Eduljee as trainers.
The plot, close to the Indian Education Society, was given to the academy after they promised to train young cricketers.
However, recently, the collector found that the cricket stars were no longer associated with the academy. He also found that some of the conditions in the lease agreement were not fulfilled.
“The plot was allotted to the academy because cricket stars endorsed the plan. But now since the cricketers have backed out, there is no reason why the plot should remain with the academy,” said suburban collector, Nirmalkumar Deshmukh.
Eduljee said she was taken on board the trust as an honourary adviser.
“It was on a former cricketer’s request that I had agreed to be a part of it. But over time, everybody got busy and lost interest,” said Eduljee. “It was started with a aim of training young cricketers but sadly things did not materialise,” Eduljee added.
The collector has issued notices to the trustee asking them to explain why they should be allowed to keep the land.
Officials from the collector office said the developer was to build a sports complex and a ground on the plot. “They were even going to give us a plan of the facilities,” said an official. The academy’s office bearers were unavailable for comment.