Finally, Thane stadium opens for cricketers

A day after this paper reported how the Dadoji Konddev stadium had been shut for cricket practice but was rented out for an ad film shoot featuring Mahendra Singh Dhoni, doors were opened to clubs to resume practice

No sooner had mid-day reported about Thane’s Dadoji Konddev stadium remaining shut for cricketers but opening for commercial activities, than the stadium officials relented and told clubs to resume practice. In fact, the decision was taken the very next day.

mid-day’s November 6 report on the issue

This correspondent had highlighted, on November 6, that the stadium, the only such facility in the entire city that was used by nearly 600 players of various age groups, had been shut to players. It had originally closed for the monsoon, and was expected to open after Dussehra, like every year.

But, despite the rains having receded in the month of September, the stadium refused to open its doors well into November.

It was ironically rented out for an ad film shoot featuring Indian cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Moreover, it was also used for concerts and social functions. Students were losing out on crucial practice time; many would come all the way from Dombivli and had had to turn back home.

Practice after long delay
Speaking to mid-day, Kiran Salgaonkar, one of the coaches for the sport at the stadium, said, “Practice resumed the very next day after the news came in the papers. Our players have finally got a chance to practice after a long delay.”
An elated Pratik Patil, one of the players, added, “I was eagerly waiting for practice sessions to start. It has been several months since monsoon, and many of us were not able to practice due to unavailability of the ground. It feels good to be on the field now.”

The authorities at the stadium charge Rs 25,000 per club — each having 25 players — for a period of eight months. There are over 16 clubs representing various schools and colleges that practise the sport at the ground.

Stadium manager Minal Palande had earlier claimed that practice had already commenced from November 1, a statement clubs had refuted. She was not reachable for comment.

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