Decade into the making, Mullanpur stadium readies for day of reckoning - Hindustan Times
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Decade into the making, Mullanpur stadium readies for day of reckoning

ByShalini Gupta, Chandigarh
Feb 12, 2024 09:04 AM IST

The Mullanpur stadium missed a few deadlines and whether it passes the latest test remains anyone’s guess. If things do not go to plan, cricketing fans will have to wait for a few more months to see stars take to the pitch.

The newly constructed Maharaja Yadavindra Singh Cricket Stadium in Mullanpur braces for a big week, with the Board of Cricket Control in India (BCCI) special team expected to inspect the venue this coming week in the lead-up to the Indian Premier League (IPL).

The newly constructed Maharaja Yadavindra Singh Cricket Stadium in Mullanpur braces for a big week, with the Board of Cricket Control in India (BCCI) special team expected to inspect the venue this coming week in the lead-up to the Indian Premier League (IPL). (Ravi Kumar/HT)
The newly constructed Maharaja Yadavindra Singh Cricket Stadium in Mullanpur braces for a big week, with the Board of Cricket Control in India (BCCI) special team expected to inspect the venue this coming week in the lead-up to the Indian Premier League (IPL). (Ravi Kumar/HT)

If deemed fit, the Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) stadium will become home to Punjab Kings (PBKS).

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The Mullanpur stadium missed a few deadlines and whether it passes the latest test remains anyone’s guess. If things do not go to plan, cricketing fans will have to wait for a few more months to see stars take to the pitch.

Shedding light on the current status of the Mullanpur stadium, PCA secretary Dilsher Khanna said, “The stadium is almost complete. There are a few things which are being put in place. The stadium has been hosting domestic matches for a long time now. We are ready to host the BCCI team and take their inputs as well. We are hoping to host the upcoming IPL matches in Mullanpur and give local fans another venue to enjoy the sport.”

Punjab Kings will be having a week-long camp at the Mullanpur stadium from February 21 to 28. The flood-lit stadium boasts of a swanky dressing rooms, well-equipped media centre, modern-lounges and turnstiles. Some work is being done on the main gate, and the PCA offices and digital screen are expected to be installed soon.

The Kurali-Chandigarh highway running through Tira village where Greater Mohali Area Development Authority is constructing a bridge posed a major problem for the Chandigarh-Mullanpur commute. In a respite, it is near completion as well.

“PCA is in touch with GMADA authorities on the bridge front. They are working hard to complete the work. The bridge will improve connectivity for fans coming to the stadium from Chandigarh,” Dilsher added.

A tale of missed deadlines

It may be recalled that it’s been almost a decade since the stadium has been under-construction.

The delay has been attributed to a range of reasons including a change in PCA setup with the old-horses office-bearers MP Pandove and IS Bindra bowing out owing to the Lodha Committee recommendations, followed by the Trident group chairperson Rajinder Gupta taking over the reins. The Covid-19 pandemic and the infighting once businessman Gulzarinder Chahal became the PCA chief further stalled work.

With Dilsher Khanna and president Amarjit Singh Mehta spearheading work, things began to move at a better pace.

PCA was adamant to host the India-Afghanistan T20I tie on January 11 at the Mullanpur stadium, but work could not be completed before the deadline. They were given a thumbs-up from the BCCI president Jay Shah after he was impressed with the Mullanpur stadium during his brief visit around the time of tie. In fact, he was impressed by the way PCA authorities upgraded the PCA IS Bindra Stadium in Mohali.

“We at PCA have been working hard to make Mullanpur stadium operative for international matches. The pace has picked up since the time the present office-bearers have taken over the charge. Jay Shah was also impressed with the facility and also suggested some changes during his visit. We are working on those lines and want the Mullanpur stadium to host the upcoming IPL. We have invited the BCCI team to see and inspect the development and progress at the stadium,” Dilsher said.

Mullanpur stadium has been successfully hosting domestic matches for the Ranji Trophy, CK Nayudu Trophy, Women’s U-15 games along with men’s U-19 games in recent years.

“I cannot comment on why there has been delay in the completion of the stadium, but since our team came into office, it has been speedy work. As far as the Mohali stadium is concerned, it is our pride and the PCA apex council will decide what all activities will be organised here after the Mullanpur stadium is ready to host international games,” Dilsher said.

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