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Renaming Uppal stadium proves costly for HCA

V. V. Subrahmanyam

Cricket body at a loss on how to mobilise funds due to Visaka group


  • The group gives Rs. 4.3 crores to the cricket association for naming the stadium after it
  • With the Government firm on naming it after Rajiv Gandhi, the HCA has to repay the amount
  • No sponsor willing to pay more than Rs. 10 lakhs


    HYDERABAD: Having reconciled to renaming of the cricket stadium at Uppal after Rajiv Gandhi, the Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA) is now facing a peculiar problem in raising Rs. 4.3 crores, an amount to be returned to Visaka group of industries.

    The group paid this amount out of its commitment of Rs. 6.5 crores for naming the stadium after it.

    With the Government firm on naming the stadium Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium before India took on South Africa in the One-Day International on November 16, the HCA has to pay back this money to the group.

    The Government initially gave an impression of finding adequate sponsors to facilitate payment of Rs. 4.3 crores, the amount paid so far by the Visaka group to the HCA. But, after a recent meeting of representatives of the Government, some national banks and corporate groups, it was clear that no single sponsor was willing to pay more than Rs.10 lakhs, at the most.

    Then, another proposal considered was that the Hyderabad Urban Development Authority (HUDA) would transfer the money to the HCA through one of its wings to meet the requirements. This proposal was dropped for the moment.

    As things stand today, the Government has to pay the amount on its own and then look for possibilities to raise adequate funds on the same terms and conditions enjoyed by the Visaka group.

    Right now, there are only two prospective sponsors, but officials are not sure whether they will be willing to complement the entire amount or just share the burden with the Government, according to senior HCA officials.

    The dilemma

    But, the HCA is not really enthusiastic of the Government paying the full amount since it will automatically enjoy some control in one form or the other in the running of the show henceforth. The HCA is opposed to the idea of even sharing the advertising rights with the Government, for it feels that it is one of the major sources of revenue by hosting any international match.

    A high-level meeting between the HCA and the Government is scheduled to be soon to clinch the issue.

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