Australian grass laid on the Central College cricket ground destroyed

The 130-year-old Central College cricket ground here that was credited to be among the best turf wickets suffered damage on Sunday.

Vehicles that brought participants for a convention at the neighbouring Freedom Park ran over the well-maintained turf, reducing the sprawling ground to a parking lot, resulting in damage to both the cricket pitch and the turf.

This was the only turf wicket before the Karnataka State Cricket Association came up with the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in the 1970s.

Damage to the pitch and the ground came to light early on Monday when teams from KLE S. Nijalingappa College and Seshadripuram First Grade College, Yelahanka, arrived at the ground for a cricket match in the ongoing inter-collegiate cricket championship of Bangalore University.

Without permission?

Munireddy R., director, Directorate of Physical Education, said: “Bangalore University granted permission for parking near the Central College premises. We were told that nearly 300 buses of the State-run transport corporations and private vehicles were allowed by the Upparpet police to park inside the ground, including on the pitch. They broke open the lock of the gate to allow this.”

As a result, Australian grass worth Rs. 36 lakh laid on the cricket ground, believed to be the first in the city, was destroyed.

This apart, buses caused damage to the compound wall near the second gate and the gate itself while exiting the ground on Sunday evening. Food packets and water bottles were littered across the ground, while toilets and water sprinklers were also damaged. Mr. Munireddy said that a police complaint will be filed on Tuesday against the secretary of the Yadava Sangha, BMTC, KSRTC and even the Upparpet police for trespassing. Compensation will be claimed from them, he added.