Harbhajan's academy proposal faces fire

A day after off- spinner Harbhajan Singh met officials of the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (BMC) to submit his proposal regarding a cricket academy that he wants to open at the Andheri Sports Complex in Mumbai, a political war seems to have broken out in the city.

The BJP and the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) have come out in strong opposition to the idea of the Shiv Sena- run BMC giving land to the cricketer in the city.

They argue that it would be unfair to many Mumbai cricketers who have been denied land for cricket academies previously.

On Monday, Harbhajan met BMC commissioner Sitaram Kunte to discuss the possibility of a cricket academy at the existing Shahaji Raje Sports Complex in Andheri, where he intends to train students from BMC municipal schools free of cost.

The BMC has said that it would make a decision after the cricketer submits a formal proposal containing all the details. However, political parties have already made clear their displeasure.

A BJP leader in the city said: “There is no dearth of cricketers who have played for the Indian team from Mumbai. We have nothing against Harbhajan Singh, but we feel that there are many local cricket heroes who have also wished to start cricket academies but have not been granted land. Mumbai city is totally choked and there is no place for another cricket academy.

Harbhajan should start one in his hometown and let the land in Mumbai remain for Mumbai cricketers who have been wishing to start their academies.” Harbhajan said he submitted a proposal to Kunte and would be happy to get land anywhere in the city.


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