CHENNAI: The Assam Cricket Association (ACA) on Monday offered the Barsapara Stadium premises to the state government to set up Covid-19 speciality hospital, the first of its kind for any of the BCCI units. The stadium in March was offered to set up a quarantine facility, which again was one of the first for any sport facility in the country.
With cases increasing across the country, few state governments have used sports complexes and stadiums as quarantine centres thanks to the space availability. Even though the BCCI had told its state units to consider any such requests, not many have been converted into quarantine centres. Though the Mumbai corporation had decided to use Wankhede Stadium for such purpose in May as cases surged in the Maximum City, it did a U-turn.
Earlier this month, the Cricket Association of Bengal following a request from the West Bengal state government, opened the Eden Gardens for quarantine facilities. And on Monday, the ACA decided to offer the facility to set up a covid-19 special care hospital.
Anurag Goal, commissioner and secretary, Health and Family Welfare Department, Assam government in the company of ACA secretary Devajit Saikia conducted inspection around the stadium to finalise the details. Once the process completes, it would be the first such instance of a stadium being converted into a special Covid-19 care hospital.
The Barsapara Stadium inaugurated by Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal in 2017 has so far hosted two T20Is – the last being in January this year and an ODI. It was supposed to be the second home of IPL franchise Rajasthan Royals and was scheduled to host two matches before the tournament was postponed because of the pandemic.
The BCCI is planning to host the IPL from September 26 to November 7 after the International Cricket Council postponed the T20 World Cup.
Photo Caption: ACA secretary Devajit Saikia and state Health and Family Welfar commissioner and secretary, Anurag Goel inspecting the Barsapara Stadium, on the outskirts of Guwahati on Monday | Special Arrangement