PM wants 70k capacity venue
At a weekly cabinet meeting yesterday Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina directed the sports ministry to set up an international standard cricket stadium at Purbachal with a capacity of at least 70,000.
According to several ministers, the PM said that there was available land in the area and that the government can allocate it for constructing a new stadium.
Sheikh Hasina, who was present at Mirpur during Bangladesh's historic series win over Pakistan on Sunday, said that the current capacity of the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium was not enough. The stadium can currently accommodate up 24,000 spectators.
According to a minister, who preferred anonymity, the PM also directed the sports ministry to upgrade the Mirpur stadium for football once the new cricket stadium is built.
If the new directives are implemented as per the plan, then there is every chance that Mirpur will no longer be the home of Bangladesh cricket.
The PM also emphasised the need for improvement of sports infrastructure in order to develop the sector across the country and to enhance the quality of players.
A senior minister told The Daily Star that five types of projects would be implemented with regards to this issue. Galleries would be constructed at school-level playgrounds on availability of space, the minister added.
Accordingly the stadiums would either be constructed or upgraded at district and upazila levels as the prime minister wants many more professional players from villages and rural areas.
"The prime minister wants to take sports forward and further develop the sector as per international standards," added the minister.