Ranji Trophy returns to Patna’s Moin-Ul-Haq Stadium after 27 years, stadium infrastructure under scanner


By ANIKET KUMAR: Patna’s first Ranji Trophy Elite Group match after a hiatus of 27 years saw thousands of supporters flooding in to watch the game despite an entry ban at the Moin-Ul-Haq Stadium. Bihar is hosting Mumbai in Moiullah Haq Stadium’s first Ranji Trophy Elite Group clash after almost three decades.

Many star Indian cricketers, including Ajinkya Rahane, Shivam Dube, and Sarfaraz Khan, alongside bowlers Dhawal Kulkarni and Tushar Deshpande, have reached Patna with the Mumbai squad. There is a lot of enthusiasm among the spectators in Patna to see these players. Friday was the first day of the match, and around 5,000 to 10,000 supporters flocked to the stadium to watch. However, the condition of the stadium is deteriorating rapidly.

Patna’s Moin-Ul-Haq Stadium (Aniket Kumar/India Today Photo)

Small posters were put up around the stadium’s danger zones. Sadly, there was no proper seating arrangement for the supporters in the stadium as the galleries designated for seating had deteriorated significantly. The walls of the stadium were covered with wild plants and the supporters couldn’t even keep track of the score because there was only a small scoreboard installed in the entire stadium, causing inconvenience to the spectators. No arrangements were made to improve the condition of the Patna stadium in Bihar even when a domestic giant like Mumbai was set to visit the venue for a Ranji Trophy match.

Patna’s Moin-Ul-Haq Stadium (Aniket Kumar/India Today Photo)

The supporters, who were present at the stadium, vented their frustration towards the Bihar government, highlighting the urgent need for proper stadium renovation by both the government and the Bihar Cricket Board. This renovation is necessary because many players from Bihar are making a name for themselves at the national level. However, if the ground and stadium conditions remain poor, how will Bihar make a mark in cricket or any other sport?

Talking about the match, Bihar captain Ashutosh Aman opted to bowl after winning the toss. Bihar bowlers backed their captain’s decision by picking nine wickets against Mumbai, restricting them to 235 runs in 67 overs on Day 1. Bihar’s Veer Pratap Singh was the pick of the bowlers with four wickets while Sakibul Gani and Himanshu Singh took two wickets each. Mumbai’s Bhupen Lalwani led the batting with 65 runs, followed by Tanush Kotian and Suved Parker, both scoring 50 runs each.

Published By:

Saurabh Kumar

Published On:

Jan 5, 2024

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