Sunil Gavaskar is a former Indian cricket team captain.© PTI
Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar has returned a government plot allotted to him in Mumbai 33 years ago to set up a cricket academy, an official from the Maharashtra housing agency MHADA said on Wednesday. State Housing Minister Jitendra Awhad had last year expressed displeasure over Gavaskar not utilising the plot in suburban Bandra, where a cricket academy was proposed, even after over 30 years of the allotment.
Gavaskar has now returned the plot to the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) after the latter’s eight-month-long deliberations and meetings with partners of the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi in the state, the official said.
“Sunil Gavaskar has returned the land to MHADA. He has written a letter to chief minister Uddhav Thackeray and me stating that he can’t develop the cricket academy as planned so he is giving back the land,” Awhad was quoted as saying by Times of India.
Awhad also confirmed that Gavaskar had written a letter to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, informing that he could not set up a cricket academy on the Bandra plot given to him years ago.
Earlier, Gavaskar along with batting legend Sachin Tendulkar had approached Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray with a plan to develop the academy, but it did not materialise.
The MHADA, which comes under Awhad’s ministry, had requested Gavaskar to return the unused plot.
“Yes, the trust had returned the land to the government. My current work commitments and social welfare requirements are such that I wouldn’t be able to do justice to setting up the academy which was a dream of mine. Yes of course, if MHADA wants to go ahead with the development on their own and require any inputs from me I would be happy to do so,” Gavaskar was quoted as saying by Times of India.
(With inputs from PTI)
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