August 30, 2012

Indian cricket

Farmland to cricket ground

Kanishkaa Balachandran

An idyllic cricket ground is making waves off National Highway 48, at Mahadevpura near Bangalore. Two farmers had transformed ten acres of fertile farmland into a cricket ground, and the outfield and pitch has received good reviews, among Karnataka players and coaches. One curator has called it the fastest pitch in the state. Anuradha Nagaraj of Open magazine has the lowdown on the ground.

Two years ago, Chinnappa was growing bananas on this land, part of the 30 acres that his family has owned for generations. A long-distance runner and cricket enthusiast in his college days, the Bangalore-based Chinnappa always rued the unavailability of space to play. After years of farming and trying his hand at floriculture, he decided to create a sports village on part of his land.

“The idea was to build a small ground for friends and local youth to play,” says Chinnappa, as he oversees the demarcation of the 15-yard circle before the match. “And so I went online and started reading up about how to make a pitch, create the perfect outfield and turf maintenance.”

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Kanishkaa Balachandran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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