Row over Hyderabad cricket stadium

Congress politics is now spilling over to cricket as well.

Updated: February 25, 2007 10:53 IST
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Hyderabad:Congress politics is now spilling over to cricket as well. G Vinod is discovering the perils of wearing more than one hat. The Andhra Pradesh labour minister is also the president of the Hyderabad Cricket Association and his family controls Visakha Industries, which funded the construction of the cricket stadium in Hyderabad. So what is the problem there, you may ask? Well, the Hyderabad Cricket Association has been ordered to name the stadium after Rajiv Gandhi if it wants Chief Minister Rajasekhara Reddy to be the chief guest at the India-South Africa one-day match on November 16. Visakha Industries does not mind if the stadium is not called Visakha stadium but says in that case, HCA should return its Rs 4.5 crore. The Cricket Association has no money and the government wants the name but will not put in its money. “It is a dicey situation. But I am trying to see how best we can have a solution, which is going to be amicable to all of us. And I am working on it to see that neither the government or the stadium are affected or the family members are put under any kind of discomfort,” said Vinod. Followers of the game say Reddy's obsession with naming every project in Andhra Pradesh after Rajiv Gandhi isn't quite cricket. “I think it is a political obsession naming after one person all the things we do in the state. It is taking things beyond a point,” said a local. But since the master's wish is their command, bureaucrats in the finance department are now looking for sponsors, who will pool in the money for the cause of the Rajiv Gandhi cricket stadium.

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