In another setback to dethroned BCCI President Anurag Thakur, the Himachal Pradesh government, on Wednesday, cancelled an agreement with the state cricket association administered by him to build a stadium.
The Cabinet headed by Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh decided to cancel the agreement with the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) for constructing an outdoor stadium at Nurpur in Kangra district in the state, an official statement said.
The state’s Youth Services and Sports Department had leased the land to the HPCA for the construction and running of the stadium, an official said.
An agreement to this regard was signed on May 5, 2012. At that time, the BJP government led by Anurag’s father Prem Kumar Dhumal was at the helm in the state.
The HPCA had plans to spend Rs 6 crore in the first phase for its construction, a senior HPCA functionary said. So far only levelling of the stadium ground was carried out, he added. The HPCA has to its credit the development of five stadia, including the world class showpiece stadium in Dharamsala, and one cricket academy in the state capital.
The Rs 100-crore ($16 million) stadium in Dharamsala first figured on the international cricket map in 2005 when it hosted a warm-up tie between the touring Pakistan team and the Board President’s XI. After the Congress formed the government in the state in December 2012, the vigilance and anti-corruption bureau had filed a case of cheating and misappropriation against the HPCA, including its President Anurag Thakur and his father Dhumal.
The government also alleged wrongdoing in the allotment of land to the HPCA for constructing a residential complex for players near the Dharamsala stadium, some 250 km from the state capital.
Cases are still pending in various courts.