India set for new international cricket stadium in Varanasi

The Indian city of Varanasi is set to receive a new international cricket stadium after funds were allocated in the state budget to acquire land for the project.

The State of Uttar Pradesh has set aside Rs950m (£9.7m/€11.4m/$12.2m) for the acquisition of land on a 31-acre site located around 15km from the city, according to the Times of India newspaper.

Varanasi is the parliamentary constituency of India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi. Uttar Pradesh has two other international stadia in the form of Kanpur’s Green Park and Lucknow’s Ekana Stadium, but the proposed new facility will be the first in the Purvanchal region.

Varanasi’s regional sports officer, Raj Prakash Singh, said the stadium is likely to be developed around Gunjari village in Raja Talab Tehsil. He added: “A team of officials of the revenue department, led by the district magistrate, has already inspected the area and a report has been sent to the state government for approval.”

Varanasi’s sports department currently operates two stadia – Dr Sampurnanand Sports Stadium (Sigra) and Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar Sports Stadium. Singh explained: “Both are built on about 15 acres of land and are too small as compared to the stature of what Varanasi is today.”

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