After the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) decided to increase the rent for hiring Nehru Stadium, a home ground of state cricket team, Chairperson of Club of Maharashtra, a local cricket club, Balasaheb Thorave fears that the hiked prices and malpractices will affect regular practice of budding cricketers.
The new rent was fixed at Rs 10,000 for corporates and Rs 6,000 cricket clubs. Currently, those interested in hosting tournaments or holding practice sessions at the stadium are paying a rent of Rs 1,000.
Hike effect: Budding cricketers practise at the Nehru Stadium; (inset) Chairperson, Club of Maharashtra Balasaheb Thorave. Pic/Imzanglu Aier
The Standing Committee was supposed to discuss the issue on Tuesday, but the discussion was postponed. “We are not opposing PMC’s proposal of increasing the rent, as it is necessary for proper maintenance of the ground. But the difference between the rent set for corporate houses and cricket clubs can lead to malpractices. There is every possibility that preference will be given to tournaments organised by corporates,” Thorave said.
He said corporate matches were generally organised on weekends and their sole purpose was entertainment for corporate employees, which would affect practice sessions of budding cricketers.
“We are demanding that rent should be equal for both — corporate houses as well as cricket clubs — as this will ensure that malpractices are kept at bay. There are chances that some cricket clubs might book the stadium in their names and later hand it over to corporate houses, and take commission,” Thorave said.