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Kotla to house cricket museum

The museum is being visualised as a place that will showcase Delhi and northern India's cricketing heritage and house a series of cricketing treasures, some of which, DDCA officials hope, will be donated by its players, reports Arjun Sen.
By Arjun Sen | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON FEB 17, 2008 11:17 PM IST

DELHI IS set to have its first comprehensive cricket museum when the third phase of the revamp of the Ferozeshah Kotla begins this summer.

The museum is being visualised as a place that will showcase Delhi and northern India's cricketing heritage and house a series of cricketing treasures, some of which, DDCA officials hope, will be donated by its players.

Talking about the museum, DDCA president Arun Jaitley said: "We want a museum in the Kotla, a place which houses cricketing memorabilia from all over the world."

With the new wing housing the dressing rooms already in use, and floodlights scheduled to be up before the IPL blitz, the DDCA has decided to move onto 'Phase III'. "We had chalked out a three-phased revamp plan for the Kotla a long while ago. With the first two phases almost done, we have decided to start with the final stage," said Jaitley.

"There are many changes in the offing for the Kotla, we want to provide better facilities to members and visitors alike," Jaitley added. "For starters, we will set up a cricket academy at the complex, one that is equipped with practice wickets - both outdoor and indoor," he added.

There are also plans of setting up a residential complex within the academy for the players. The DDCA's plans also include a state-of the-art gymnasium and a swimming pool. "Presently, we are looking to utilise the area behind the scoreboard to construct the gymnasium and pool," Jaitley said.

Jaitley also said the DDCA has plans of redoing the interiors of the present Willingdon Pavilion and setting up a cricket museum there.

"We don't want to touch the Pavilion building, since it is so close to the heritage site," Jaitley said.

"Therefore, we have decided to redo the interiors of the building, move out the offices and set up a lounge, a restaurant and a cricket museum," he added.

The president also said that though there were plans of laying tennis courts in the area, the Association was yet to zero in on the exact area. "We want to provide facilities for other sport, apart from cricket. Maybe TT tables, tennis courts and more," DDCA general secretary SP Bansal said.

Asked about how long he reckoned the project would take to get completed, Bansal said: "We will get to work as soon as our AGM gets over in March, let's see how much time it takes, somewhere between 12 and 24 months."

Very soon, a visit to the Kotla will be one to remember, or at least that's how one hopes it turns out to be.

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