KCA moves GCDA to bring back big-time cricket to Kochi

The Kerala Cricket Association has made a move to get cricket back at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi.

File Picture: Since the Nehru Stadium is located in the central part of the State, it would be a convenient place for international cricket.   -  VIPIN CHANDRAN

Kerala Blasters may not have said anything officially yet regarding its plans to play some of its Indian Super League matches in Kozhikode, but the Kerala Cricket Association has made a move to get cricket back at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here.

“We have given a letter to the GCDA (Greater Cochin Development Authority, the guardian of the stadium) because we had spent around ₹11 crore earlier to bring the Nehru Stadium in Kochi to international standards,” Sreejith V. Nair, the KCA secretary, told Sportstar on Tuesday.

“Also, the GCDA still has the ₹1 crore which we had paid as deposit earlier but we have not been able to play international or domestic cricket there, not even league matches. So, the KCA’s general body took a decision to approach the GCDA first with the co-operation of football (officials).

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‘Not for conflict’

“We are not for a conflict with the ISL or the GCDA but our request is to make it a venue for international cricket and for IPL too. We want both cricket and football to be played here. Actually, the KCA was in possession of the stadium and it was given to conduct the FIFA under-17 World Cup (in 2017). After that, we did not get any chance to conduct matches there.”

Since the Nehru Stadium is located in the central part of the State, Nair said it would be a convenient place for international cricket. Thiruvananthapuram is now Kerala’s lone venue for major cricket matches but it is a problem for fans from the northern part of the State to travel to the capital.

“I had spoken to the GCDA chairman, he also seems to be interested. We expect something positive,” said Nair.

The Blasters management is likely to hold talks with the Kozhikode Corporation on Wednesday to firm up its plans for the Corporation Stadium there.

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