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Sunday, April 14, 2024

Coimbatore: Sasthri Ground will be turned into a hockey arena, upsetting the cricketers

<p>The municipal budget recommendations aim to convert the Sasthri Ground in RS Puram in Coimbatore city into a hockey stadium, which has angered local cricket aficionados. The 7.02-acre public playground has been utilized for sports and activities by kids and teenagers from all throughout the Coimbatore area for more than 50 years.</p>
<p><img decoding=”async” class=”alignnone wp-image-528914″ src=”https://www.theindiaprint.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/theindiaprint.com-coimbatore-sasthri-ground-will-be-turned-into-a-hockey-arena-upsetting-the-cricket-750×500.jpg” alt=”theindiaprint.com coimbatore sasthri ground will be turned into a hockey arena upsetting the cricket” width=”1077″ height=”718″ title=”Coimbatore: Sasthri Ground will be turned into a hockey arena, upsetting the cricketers 3″ srcset=”https://www.theindiaprint.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/theindiaprint.com-coimbatore-sasthri-ground-will-be-turned-into-a-hockey-arena-upsetting-the-cricket-750×500.jpg 750w, https://www.theindiaprint.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/theindiaprint.com-coimbatore-sasthri-ground-will-be-turned-into-a-hockey-arena-upsetting-the-cricket-1024×683.jpg 1024w, https://www.theindiaprint.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/theindiaprint.com-coimbatore-sasthri-ground-will-be-turned-into-a-hockey-arena-upsetting-the-cricket-768×512.jpg 768w, https://www.theindiaprint.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/theindiaprint.com-coimbatore-sasthri-ground-will-be-turned-into-a-hockey-arena-upsetting-the-cricket.jpg 1200w” sizes=”(max-width: 1077px) 100vw, 1077px” /></p>
<p>Ward 72 in the city’s West Zone is home to Sasthri Ground, sometimes referred to as the Old Burial Ground. Since it’s the sole open area in the city center, kids may be seen playing a variety of sports there, including football, volleyball, cricket, football, shuttle badminton, and frisbee—though cricket players predominate.</p>
<p>The Coimbatore City Municipal Corporation (CCMC) revealed in the 2024–25 budget that Sasthri Ground would be transformed into an open hockey stadium at an approximate cost of Rs 11.5 crore. This will include installing artificial grass turf (ASTRO turf), a spectator gallery, restrooms, and other amenities. It has submitted a request for funding to the government.</p>
<p>The municipal authority had previously submitted a request to the Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu (SDAT) to install turf and convert the playground of RS Puram Boys High School into a hockey arena. Most of the work in this area was concluded. And now the city’s cricket players are reeling from the local body’s most recent pronouncement.</p>
<p>People have been playing cricket on this field for the last 40 to 50 years, particularly cricket fans, according to M Soundararajan, Secretary of the Coimbatore District Cricket Association, who spoke with TNIE. Additionally, the RS Puram Cricket Club used to utilize this location for its matches. They are not the only teams or athletes that have played on this field for a number of years.<br />
The Coimbatore district’s rising players have called the pitch home. Among the well-known athletes who played on this field and later represented the Tamil Nadu state team in the Ranji Trophy competition are P Mukunth, PR Ramakrishnan, and R Mohan. We will not, under any circumstances, give up the hockey stadium site. To halt the project, the Executive Committee meeting of our organization will address this issue and then bring it up with the Tamil Nadu government and the sports department,” he said.</p>
<p>Gandhi Park resident S Harish, who loves cricket, was adamantly against the change. He chastised the municipal body for publicizing such initiatives without first seeking public input. These bureaucrats, seated in air-conditioned chambers, make all of the decisions without considering the welfare of the populace. This field has been used for cricket for more than 40 years, not just the last two or three. It is very unacceptable that the municipal authority decided to convert the location into a hockey rink without researching the history of the area. For thousands of cricket aficionados in Coimbatore, this is the sole free ground. Not everyone has the money to pay to use grass fields for play. Instead of using the burial cemetery, the authorities may choose to choose a different location for the hockey field. On weekends and holidays, a large number of teens and adults have also been playing on this field in addition to small children, he said.</p>
<p>N Malathi, the chair of the CCMC Parks, Playgrounds, and Schools Committee, responded to TNIE’s inquiry by saying, “There will be opposition for every project.” A small number of laborers living in makeshift shelters inside the Sasthri grounds will also lose their houses. However, it cannot cause us to stop working. The opposition will not stop our sports minister, Udhayanidhi Stalin, from setting up a world-class hockey arena.<br />
TNIE reached out to CCMC Commissioner M Sivaguru Prabakaran for comment on the incident, but he declined after many efforts.</p>

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