Despite renovation, Thane stadium still not the ideal sports ground
Three years since the Dadoji Konddev Stadium has been shut for renovation, sportspersons from Thane and nearby cities are left without a proper place to practice.
The stadium was renovated in 2019, though it was reserved only for premier cricket matches while the local sportsmen were allotted a small piece of land to practice. This was the only stadium for sportspersons from Kalyan, Navi Mumbai and Thane. Around 400 cricketers, 500 athletes and a few other sportspersons practice and train here regularly.
In February 2019, the stadium was converted into a state-of-the-art cricket pitch to host international-level matches. Hardly two women’s under-19 cricket matches have taken place here in the last two years.
However, since renovation, the regular sportspersons are not able to practice or train properly. There are only two nets for cricket practice and a small synthetic track near the steps of the stadium for athletes.
A senior officer from Thane Municipal Corporation, said, “Unlike earlier, we cannot permit sportspersons to use the entire ground at all times. Shoes with spikes can damage the cricket pitch. Moreover, we have made provisions for two nets and a synthetic track for athletes, Ghantali Prabodhini cricket coaching is currently conducting their training sessions here. Moreover, the Board of Control for Cricket in India has conducted two Under-19 women’s matches here. This shows that the BCCI is aware of the stadium.”
Sportspersons have already been without any practice for months together during the lockdown. Now, when there is a need for more space to practice, the stadium continues to have restricted timings for players.
“Unlike earlier, we are not able to continue practicing at the stadium due to restricted timings. Most of us juggle studies and training. This stadium is so aptly located, it becomes convenient for those from Navi Mumbai, Kalyan and areas within Thane to reach. However post renovation with restricted timings at the stadium we are not able to practice like before, many of us opt for other smaller grounds in Mumbra and nearby areas,” said Pooja Joshi, an athlete who has been practicing since the last five years at the stadium.
Athletes and cricketers find it difficult to travel to other grounds for practice when they have a provision for everything at a single place.
Shreyas Chavan, athletics coach, Thane, added, “Thane is a city with international level athletes and other sportspersons as well. There are many who come from nearby areas to practice and have attained fame at the national level too. While the civic body is making plans to expand and provide better facilities at the stadium, they should take into consideration the interests of all sportspersons and not just one particular sport.”
Despite repeated calls, Minal Palande, sports officer, was unavailable for comment.