Cricket stadium to go club class

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the inner circle of the lucky JSCA International Stadium Complex, Ranchi.

Jharkhand State Cricket Association (JSCA), the apex body for Jharkhand cricket, could have simply basked in glory after hosting the maiden India-England ODI of January 19 and bagging a string of big-ticket ties ' Celebrity Cricket League and Indian Premier League ' for starters.

But no, it is padding up for a unique innings.

The JSCA will throw open its Rs 180-crore oval for its Country Cricket Club, making a strong pitch for members who feel they are lapsed Bradmans or Pataudis or Dhonis.

The club, part of the JSCA International Stadium Complex in Dhurwa, will lure many who have envied teams India and England as they lounged in its spanking new infrastructure in January.

The sale of application forms ' priced at Rs 100 each ' began at the stadium's north gate from February 12 and will continue till February 20.

JSCA officials said the initiative was focused on twin objectives ' generating revenues for the gigantic stadium's upkeep and creating an elite leisure option for Ranchi denizens.

Membership modalities are under wraps at the moment. "A formal announcement will be made once we review applicants. But yes, JSCA is aiming to work out reasonable packages compared to other club memberships in Ranchi," said an official.

Many residents of the capital, which still downs its shutters by 8pm or latest by 9pm, now feel the need to let their hair at clubs.

But, the capital only has two options ' Ranchi Club and Gymkhana Club ' with the waiting list spilling anywhere from three to five years.

"As far as I believe, the starting price of membership comes anywhere between Rs 5 lakh and 6 lakh a year. We will try to restrict it between Rs 2 lakh and Rs 3 lakh to begin with. But the modalities for becoming life, honorary or annual members are being worked out," he said, adding that the club would in future be the nodal agency to take care of the mammoth stadium.

Manoj Kumar, JSCA's media officer, said they had a unique game plan.

"We will offer access to suites, rooms, tennis courts, conference halls, bars, and other indoor stadiums at much discounted prices. If one wants to book rooms or suites for guests, they can avail them on discount. As part of our expansion, tennis, volleyball and basketball courts will come up here. Members can play and practise. We are finalising the nitty-gritty of facilities as of now," he said.

Once done, the stadium complex will also be thrown open for receptions or cultural events.

"Yes, it is an ideal locale for large gatherings. Look at the immense parking space and the view," smiled Kumar.

Will you apply for membership to Country Cricket Club?

Tell ttkhand@abpmail.com

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