On the afternoon of Sunday 6th January 2013 Shri Narendra Modi inaugurated the newly built stadium of the Saurashtra Cricket Association in Rajkot. The Chief Minister stressed on the need to make sports an integral part of our lives and added that if there is no sport, there can be no sportsman spirit.He expressed confidence that there will be many players from this ground would go on to become the pride of the nation!
The Chief Minister recalled that when the Shilanyas of the stadium was performed he was there and he has today got the opportunity to inaugurate the stadium. He stated that when the Shilanyas was performed former Indian cricket captain Mr. Kapil Dev was present and today, it is being inaugurated on the occasion of his birth anniversary.
The Chief Minister said that 6th January is a landmark day in the history of cricket. It was in 1930 that the biggest record of scoring 452 runs was made by Sir Don Bradman.
Speaking about Gujarat’s association with cricket, Shri Modi affirmed that it is a matter of great pride that two prestigious competitions in Indian cricket, the Ranji Trophy and the Duleep Trophy are inspired by individuals from this land.
Shri Modi talked at length about the need to make sports an integral part of our lives. “If there is no sport there is no sportsman spirit,” he affirmed. He stated, “Due to (pressures of) education, exams etc. the playing fields are empty and this is a matter of concern.” Shri Modi shared that in China it was observed that children used to watch lot of cartoons instead of being on the playing field and that is why a law was made that cartoons will not be screened during a certain time, so that children to go and play.
He spoke about the state Government’s Khel Mahakumbh initiative where 20-22 lakh people come out to play and shared the Mantra of ‘Jo Khele Woh Khile’ (He who plays, shines!). Shri Modi stated that nowadays many players are coming from small towns, which is a change from the earlier times.
The Chief Minister talked about the Sports Policy of the Gujarat Government and spoke on the Sports University that has come up in Gujarat. He pointed out that there is a lot of Human Resource Development Work linked with sports and the Sports University would give impetus to these multiple activities.
Shri Modi raised an important point of making multi-purpose stadiums where various games can be played. He pointed out that in Australia this is happening and Gujarat will try in this direction. He also spoke about the possibility of roof top solar arrangements on the stadiums, which would be highly beneficial.
He affirmed that the image of a nation does not only from its economic or military strength but there is also a soft face, a human face and sports is one of the ways through which a nation is known.
Those present on the occasion include Minister of State Shri Govindbhai Patel, BCCI President Mr. N Srinivasan and Mr. Niranjan Shah of Saurashtra Cricket Association.