Jawaharlal Nehru Cricket Stadium Kochi

Jawaharlal Nehru Cricket Stadium Kochi Getty Images

Kozhikode: Oct 6, 2013

Kerala Cricket Association (KCA) would take all efforts to stage some IPL matches at the Jawaharlal Nehru International stadium at Kochi, TC Mathew, the Indian Premier League Governing council member said in Kozhikode on Sunday.

“Arbitration process with regard to Kochi Tuskers is going on. KCA will support any bid from Kerala for an IPL franchise and take every effort to stage some IPL matches in Kochi,” he told reporters at the Calicut Pres Club in Kozhikode.

Mathew, also chairman of National Cricket Academy (NCA), said KCA had held discussions with Chief Minister Oommen Chandy in this regard and urged for support from everybody.

He said the association has a large number of proposals like setting up indoor stadiums and grounds across 14 districts of the state to promote tourism culture in Kerala.

“In another three years, the association would start 20 first class stadium in 14 districts,” said Mathew, who is also President of Kerala Cricket Association.

He claimed KCA was the only state association credited with utilising 66.5 per cent of funds allocated by BCCI.

“South India’s first high altitude cricket stadium in Krishnagiri in hilly Wayanad district would be inaugurated tentatively on November 14 by Kerala Governor Nikhil Kumar,” he informed.

“The stadium with international quality pitch also has a viewing gallery in the form of a sloped lawn, where people can sit and watch the matches.

“We do not expect to host International matches. But we are expecting domestic matches and through that we want to enthuse the next generation,” Mathew said, adding that efforts would be made to develop the stadium into a Zonal Cricket Academy centre.

Kerala cricket, which once had a small place on the Indian cricket map, has progressed a lot with seven state players now in the IPL, he said, adding this was an indicator.

“Very shortly Kerala will become a force in Indian cricket.”

Mathew said KCA would have its own infrastructure in another three years in Kozhikode.

“We have already started the initiative in this regard,” he said.