Tral’s lone cricket ground cries for official attention

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Tral: The aspiring cricketers in South Kashmir’s Tral town and adjoining areas are facing a tough time with only cricket ground available to them continuing to be in shambles. Having around 80 thousand populace laced with talent, Tral has only one cricket ground of note housed near Government Degree College in Bajwani area but much to the dismay of cricket lovers its condition continues to deteriorate by the day which makes almost unfit for cricketers to play there. 

Not only it has uneven playing area coupled with potholes, the ground has no seating arrangement. Moreover, there is no proper fencing around the stadium and no changing room for the players. To make matters worse for the players, the presence of mulberry trees all over the playing area keeps players all the time wary of dangers it can pose while fielding or diving around.  

Aghast players say they face many difficulties while playing their favourite sport.

“Despite being the lone cricket ground in the area, it continues to be in bad shape. There has hardly been any effort from the concerned to make the ground fit to play. There are so many mulberry trees in the middle of the stadium which prevents us from diving around as we have seen so many players injured over the years. It creates disturbance as well,” Gowhar Ahmad Shah, a local cricketer, told Kashmir Observer. 

 “Unfortunately there is no dressing room for the players. Players sit in the open. There is no roller to maintain the turf. Outfield field is uneven and becomes muggy even by the slightest of precipitation. We want renovation of the stadium as early as possible ,” they said.

The dilapidated condition of the ground, local cricketers say, was one of the  major hindrances for them to develop into professional sportsmen.

“We always come to this stadium to practice and hone our skills but the condition of the playing area is so bad that we face the danger of injuring ourselves in this dilapidated stadium,” they said.

Despite pressing for its renovation many a time, Gowhar and his friends say, government has hardly bothered to make an effort to bring about a change in the stadium.  All their pleas, they claim, have fallen to deaf ears.

“We approached the concerned authorities several times and urged them to renovate the playfield. We too want to make it big but owing to the lack of proper infrastructure our efforts always go down the drain. Besides, persistent attempts of bringing the matter into the notice of the authorities proved fruitless owing to their cold response,” said the cricketers.

“The Tral should have separate sports fields for football, cricket, Basketball and other indoor games. It is dangerous even to walk through the playground as it is full of potholes. We don’t know when the conscience of the local sports authorities will wake up”, they added.

According to locals,  the work on the stadium was started a couple of times in the past but was left midway much to the disappointment of the aspiring cricketers.

 

The players urged the authorities to improve the condition of the ground through necessary upkeep, repairs and renovation. They also sought other facilities including availability of drinking water, rest-rooms and public convenience at the sports stadium.

Secretary Jammu and Kashmir State Sports Council Waheed ur Rehman Parra while talking to Kashmir Observer assured that he will look into the matter ‘personally’.

“I will be visiting soon there to personally look into the matter,” Parra said.

At a time when sports activities are going at a rapid pace and lot of money is pumped into developing sports infrastructure in the state, dilapidated stadium in places like Tral is a grim reminder that lot of work needs to make J&K a sporting state. 

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