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National Cricket Academy likely to be shifted out of Bangalore

The NCA board meeting held in Delhi on Thursday shortlisted Pune, Mohali and Dharamsala as the possible alternatives for Bangalore which has been it's home since 2000. The new land allotted to the NCA has been mired in a legal battle and members feel that Dharamsala's high altitude location is ideal for increasing stamina.

Chinnaswamy stadium Bangalore Cricket
Chinnaswamy stadium has been home to the NCA since its establishment in 2000

The National Cricket Academy (NCA) is likely to be shifted out of its current location Bangalore, ESPNCricinfo reports. The NCA is being restructured as High Performance Cricket Centre and the committee members are looking at Pune, Dharamsala and Mohali as alternative venues as they have not been able to get the required land in Bangalore.

The Karnataka capital has been NCA’s home since its establishment by the BCCI in 2000 as a finishing school for talented cricketers and to organise training courses for support staff. The board, however, opted to shift the NCA from its Chinnaswamy Stadium premises to a facility at Kurki, in the city’s suburbs in 2013. That plan didn’t material though as the land was mired in a legal battle.

The NCA board meeting was held in Delhi on Thursday and the above three venues were shortlisted based on their world class infrastructure. Two committee members who attended the meeting confirmed the development.

“Although the destination isn’t final yet, moving out of Bengaluru is the best option. Dharamsala, Pune and Mohali are options and a decision is expected at the next meeting,” another member said as reported by The New Indian Express. 

"A thought process is there to move the NCA, which is to become the High Performance Cricket Centre, out of Bengaluru, to Mohali or Himachal or even Pune as we are not being able to get the land allotted to the High Performance Centre in Bengaluru," the member said, as reported by Zee News. “We must have land and I don't know what is happening there as the Board's Rs 50 crore is already stuck without any result. Unless they offer us very good land, we may shift out." 

"Weatherwise all these three centres are fine, so to speak of, and they would be ideal for the proposed High Performance Centre. A suggestion to this effect would be forwarded to the Board's Working Committee for its approval," he added.

Dharamsala most likely to be the new home for the NCA

Dharamsala Cricket stadium
The picturesque HPCA stadium is situated in Dharamsala

Dharamsala, situated nearly 1500m above sea level, is the frontrunner among the three shortlisted cities as many members feel that training at a higher altitude will help cricketers increase their stamina. Also, BCCI Secretary Anurag Thakur is the president of the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association(HPCA) that runs a residential academy for cricketers at the venue. 

The Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) also runs a residential academy at Mohali, but frictions between Thakur and MP Pandove, Honorary Secretary of the PCA and present NCA Chairman, is likely to come in the way. As for Pune, they might boast one of the best modern stadiums in the country but the absence of a residential academy all but leaves them out of the reckoning.

A final decision regarding the matter is expected to be taken at the BCCI’s Annual General meeting next month.

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