Ensconced in a quiet locality near Kompally in Secunderabad, is the new Niraj Indoor Sports Arena which promises to be the next entertainment stop in the city. At this new indoor venue, cricket, soccer, netball and other games will be conducted. But cricket and soccer would be the top priority. Envisaged by Australia’s Karl Dimario in association with PR Man Singh (former Hyderabad Cricket Association secretary) and Ajmal Asad, it could soon witness institutional and corporate cricket.
The Australian, who hails from Perth, is here to promote indoor cricket. With 100 feet length and 40 feet wide, it has all the international requirements and could be ideal for an eight-a-side cricket tournament. It has a strong net that has springs on top to enable the ball bounce back and make the player injury free even if he bangs on the net. The artificial turf with 22-yard strip makes a perfect ground for cricket.
Dimario is convinced that a few outdoor games like cricket, football or netball could be played in future indoor. “The indoor concept has caught up strongly in Australia where indoor cricket is very popular. We have got tremendous response as we have regular 16-over game. It is fast, furious and entertaining. Most of the top Australian cricketers like Michael Clarke have honed their skills through indoor cricket,’’ said Dimario, whose father is an Italian while mother an Aussie. It is not just Clarke, other Aussie players like Justin Langer, Damien Martyn, Mitchel Marsh are all actively involved in indoor cricket. Indoor cricket competition has few rules like a batsman is declared out even a field has caught the ball from the side net. If a batsman is out, five runs is deducted from the team’s score. A six is declared if the batsman hits straight net and plus the number of runs he runs. “It is all about playing smart cricket. There is no time of relaxation as it is a fast game. A fielder has to be athletic and focused. Each bowler can bowl two overs only and each pair of batsmen can bat only four overs.’’
Although it has caught imagination of Aussies down under, Dimario had to take pains to convince Man Singh before the former secretary himself saw all the action in Australia. ``It is a new concept. I think it could be very popular in India.’’
There are plans even to conduct ICL (Indoor Cricket League) on the lines of IPL in future. ``But our immediate priority is to popularize this game in the city. I think for schools and college this could be an ideal game where there will be plenty of action,’’ said Man Singh.
Dimario said other games like kabaddi, netball, soccer will also be conducted at this venue. A cafeteria where players can hangout is also on the cards.