London: The Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) is all set to team up with a British company to build cricket communities in India by designing 12 residential areas based around cricket fields.
According to the 'Guardian', the real estate development and investment company - Anglo-Indian - is at the verge of finalising plans to use MCC's name and the game's popularity in India to promote 12 residential projects centred on cricket academies modelled on the home of cricket - Lord's.
The scheme plans to place cricket academies at heart of developments, which will include housing, shopping malls, hospitals and hotels.
"A fully-fledged cricket ground and an MCC indoor cricket academy, with its state-of-the-art training facilities available to the entire community, will be at the heart of every project," the Anglo-Indian chairman, Simon Reid told 'Guardian'.
"In India, cricket is nothing short of a religion, and we visualise developing new communities at the edges of cities revolving around the extraordinary national devotion to the game," he added.
Later this year the firm is expected to announce its first residential cricket community project, most likely in Gurgaon. A sister company has also acquired 550 acres for a cricket-centric integrated township near Pune.
"There can be no better synergy than between MCC and the heart of 21st-century India. It will be a very strong operational partnership with MCC, with coaches from here going to India and local coaches coming for training here," said Reid.
The seeds of India's passion for cricket were planted by the first visit of the MCC in 1926, when the team played first class games against sides like the Bombay Presidency, the Parsees and the Muslims and Rangoon Gymkhana.