Jamshedpur, Feb. 7: The lush greens of Keenan Stadium that witnessed some of the best moments of Indian cricket is looking for a second innings with Tata Steel planning a revival project.
After boosting football frenzy in the city with bagging franchise in Indian Super League (ISL), the company is planning to bring cricket action back to the city.
“We want to bring the cricket action back in the city. Unless the infrastructure is used for the sports action, the action will remain away. We had spoken to Jharkhand State Cricket Association in this regard and we are looking forward to connect again for rival of the iconic stadium,” said Chanakya Chaudhary, vice president, corporate services, Tata Steel.
During an interaction with the media at JRD Tata sports complex, the vice president said that sports has been thrust area of company’s policy and they want to revive the stadium. He informed that they have a blue print for its revival and hope things will streamline soon.
Chaudhary expressed confidence that similar on the lines of ISL matches being played at JRD Tata Sports Complex, cricket will also get a boost with revival of Keenan Stadium.
Once, the ambassador of the sports especially cricket in Jharkhand, Keenan Stadium is looking for a facelift.
“The stadium enjoys a historic legacy but at present it requires a lot of up-gradation work until the custodians (Tata Steel) of the stadium restore life into it international matches couldn’t be played there,” said an official of JSCA. A former University player and ardent cricket fan, Sanjay Das expressed disappointment on the sorry state of affairs prevailing in the Keenan Stadium. “It’s very sad that international matches won’t be played here in the near future.”
Built in 1939 and named after Sir John Lawrence Keenan, one of then general managers of Tata Steel, the stadium was a prime cricket venue in eastern India after Calcutta’s fabled Eden Gardens. But the last ODI was held more than six years ago, on April 12, 2006, between India and England, as part of the TVS Cup series. Unfortunately, England had won the match. It has hosted 10 international matches, first being the India-West Indies match in December 7, 1983, so far. Barring, one match (against South Africa in March 2000) India has never won a match here.
In fact, from 1983 to 2006, of all the 10 big-ticket ODI matches held at Keenan, India won only one. Pakistan, England, West Indies, New Zealand, all romped home with victories.