Bandipora cricket, football fraternity protest against construction of Athletic track in SK Stadium

Mohsin Kamal

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Bandipora, August 1: Cricket and football fraternities of Bandipora on Thursday held a protest soon after advisor to Governor, K. Vijay Kumar, laid the foundation of Athletic track in Sher-e-Kashmir Stadium Bandipora.

The cricketers and footballers of district opposed the construction of the track, considering it could ‘be a roadblock’ for them. They said that SK Stadium is the only standard playfield in the district and making it an Athletic-specialised Stadium would stop the other sports activities.

“This (SK Stadium) is the only proper ground we have here and constructing an Athletic track in it means other games will suffer. This stadium is the home to about 120 cricket teams and plenty of football clubs of the district. Where will all of them go once Athletic track is made here?” Saleem Jahangir, former cricketer and president of District Cricket Forum Bandipora told reporters.

The sports enthusiasts organised a sit-in protest in the Stadium and urged authorities to rethink over the decision of introducing this Athletic track. 

Players held a sit-in protest at SK Stadium Bandipora

“I think people at the helm should have made ground-level research before finalising this project. Here in Bandipora people mostly play cricket, football, volleyball etc and this stadium being the only proper place for them to play means Athletic track won’t get an acceptance.” Faisal Dar, a former martial-art player said.

“However, since the Government has decided to spend the money over this project, they should either provide an alternative stadium to these cricketers and footballers or rather construct an indoor stadium here.” He added.

The officials of the Sher-e-Kashmir Stadium ‘surprisingly’ had no information about this project of Athletic track as they were told about its inauguration just a day before,

“We had no idea of it. Rather it came as a surprise after we were told about it ( inauguration of Athletic track) yesterday” Ayaz Ahmad, in-charge SK Stadium told KSW after asked to provide a copy of the order.