Hyderabad: A day after Deccan Chronicle revealed that the iconic LB Stadium is being leased out for weddings, cultural events and political meetings, and not sporting activities, the authorities have come in for severe criticism from various quarters.
The report has apparently irked sports lovers, and players, parents and coaches staged protests at the stadium and raised slogans such as ‘Save Sports – Save LB Stadium’. They have urged the authorities to initiate necessary action at the earliest to revive and bring back the glory of the stadium to promote sporting talent.
Former Indian cricketer Arshad Ayub said, “I have great memories of LB Stadium where I played international matches. The stadium is strategically and centrally located so if it can be revived. I think since the stadium is managed by Sports Authority of Telangana State, the concerned officials should swing into action and revive the stadium.”
IPL cricketer Tirumalasetti Suman is moved by the sad state the stadium is in. It was at LB stadium that he first watched an international match with his father, he recalls. The stadium has produced many legendary players like Mohammed Azharuddin.
“Players never had the trouble of travelling to the other end of the city because the stadium is located in the heart of the city. I feel bad that such a stadium is losing its sheen,” Mr Suman, said.
“A stadium should only be used to promote sporting talent and not anything else,” he added.
In the face of the widespread protests V Srinivas Goud, Minister of Prohibition & Excise, Sports & Youth services, Tourism & Culture, has promised that the government will be looking into the matter.
Admitting the sorrowful state of the ground, Mr Goud said the government already has plans for the stadium’s revival.
“Ever since the stadium was built during the Andhra Pradesh government regime, the authorities have been following the culture of leasing out the stadium when there are no (sporting) events happening. And we have been continuing the same practice. However, recently we have brought the matter of reviving the stadium to CM garu’s notice. He responded positively and very soon the government will be coming up with an action plan to renew the ground,” Mr Goud said....