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New T20 Stadium Host in Ayodhya and Wrestling Akhara in Varanasi Nov 20th, 2018 from Times of India

New Studium Host in Ayodhya and Wrestling Akhara in Varanasi

Six km away from the disputed site of Babri Ram Temple in , UP government is quietly putting bricks and mortar at a 50-acre site with 23,000-seating capacity that has become a spectacle for many sportsmen and officials from Delhi touring it every week.

It’s a Rs 131-cr sports complex that will house a cricket stadium, first such big construction since 1992 when the Babri Masjid demolition shook up the temple town. The project was sanctioned by the Yogi Adityanath government at a meeting by state sports minister Chetan Chauhan, a former cricketer and two time BJP MP, two months ago during Diwali. “Our objective is to host a Ranji and international cricket T20 match in Ayodhya in next two years,” said Chauhan. Even as the construction is on, the stadium has begun hosting practice sessions by the national handball team. At the meeting, the government also announced setting up four sports academies which include wrestling, swimming, shooting and badminton at an estimated cost of Rs 115 crore.

Keeping in mind mushrooming mud and pit akharas in Varanasi , the wrestling academy will go to PM Narendra Modi’s Lok Sabha seat. “While Allahabad will get a badminton academy, shooting centre in Lucknow, swimming academy in Saifai and another astro turf cum shooting complex either in Baghpat or Meerut are to be set up,” said Chauhan. Even as a war of words had broken out between CM Yogi Adityanath and former CM Akhilesh Yadav over renaming of Lucknow cricket stadium when it hosted a T20 against West Indies, the government said it will dole out a swimming pool complex in Yadav’s family bastion Saifai.

Hiked budget

Let Akhilesh know that we make no discrimination with our development,” said Chauhan . The UP government also decided to take up cricket battle to Kanpur, saying another Rs 20 crore is being used in making a new media enclosure with toughened glass and 360 degree revolving cameras to compete with Lucknow stadium. UP government in 2018 hiked its sports budget from Rs 191 crore last year to Rs 813 crore this year. TNN

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