Ekana stadium next Mecca of sports in U.P. – Uday Sinha

Photo Courtesy – Anil Jaiswal

Arijit Bose

Lucknow: In cricket crazy India there is no dearth of youngsters who want to walk the unbeaten track and turn into a swashbuckling cricketer. For a city like Lucknow, till a decade back, quality cricket training was a far – fetched dream. Filling that gap is the recently launched Ekana Cricket Academy helmed by cricket ace Venkatesh Prasad. In a short span, the cricket academy has been able to carve a niche for itself domestically. The academy is training youngsters in varied disciplines like balling, batting with personalized coaching giving the youth wings.

As Ekana Stadium moves ahead to make a space for itself in the IPL universe by turning into a nerve centre for the T20 format, the stadium recently held special talent spotting sessions under the tutelage of LSG coach Andy Flower.

The Academy is ensuring that specialized coaching in batting, bowling, catching and fielding are available on ground. To make life simpler for the youngsters enrolled for training, the residential facility for them on the premises itself is now functional.

On 29January 2023, an India versus New Zealand match in the T20 format will be played at this stadium. All the infrastructure has been ramped up for this international match.

Global accolades

Ekana stadium has made a name for itself in the global sporting circles for high quality cricket, and now the idea is to give a broader exposure across disciplines. The stadium has 11 squash courts, 8 badminton courts, 8 lawn tennis courts, a football stadium and an indoor stadium. These are testimony to the gamut of sport facilities available at one place in the state. A special Australian turf adds to the value of the facilities on offer.

“Giving domestic sport a fillip always plays on my mind,” says Uday Sinha, CMD, Ekna Sportz City. A sportsperson is important for all sections of society. A sportsman represents fitness, a fighting spirit and a positive attitude. The scope for sportspersons has increased manifold as now several leagues and tournaments are being organised in many disciplines. People now see sport as an alternative career option which is a healthy sign. By having a set-up like Ekana where sport is promoted, it not only provides society an engine of growth, it creates job venues along with greater scope for infrastructure and health,” he says.

“In an increasingly competitive sports environment,” he adds, “the focus for the Ekana stadium is that until and unless tie ups are finalized and the concept is bang on target, things are not launched in public domain. This way the credibility of the institution is not damaged at any point.”

Sinha feels confident he is on right track, and adds, “With big league franchises like AKT Mohun Bugan, Delhi Dynamos, Lucknow Super Giants, ICL, IPL reposing faith in Ekana, we are confident that we are well placed to pitch Ekana stadium as the next Mecca of sports in U.P.”

Boasting of Ekana’s market position, he says “we are one of a kind in the state where on one campus there are three well-furnished stadiums.”

Among the latest success stories of Ekana is Anjaneya Suryavanshi, who gave the trials for the Ranji Trophy Opener. He has also been among the favourites for the U-19 team, an emerging player and above all the U.P. main team. Similarly, the others who are making waves are Arsh Singh and Anunaye Pathak in the U-14 district level UPCA trial.

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