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Why not a 'cricket museum' in India

New Delhi, Feb 10: England has one, and so has Australia -- in fact, all major cricketing nations boast one. But not India.

Though having emerged as a major cricketing power of the 21st century, India has yet failed to establish a national cricket museum -- notwithstanding grandiose plans, yet unfulfilled, by the national cricketing board BCCI to set one up in Mumbai.However, a non-resident Indian dreams of setting the anomaly right. Seeking to fill the lacuna, the Foundation of Museums-International (FM-I) proposes setting up the first of its kind, world-class, interactive Cricket Museum dedicated to the celebration of cricket and its significance in post-colonial India.

The Museum of Cricket-India will be a place for domestic and international visitors to experience the thrill and history of cricket in India and its influence on the cricketing world, according to Anjali Sachdev, FM-I Founder and its Visionary and Concept Consultant.

FM-I, a non-profit organisation formed to support the founding and development of various museums of sports and entertainment, will act as an umbrella body to provide direction and strategic planning and creating partnerships in support of the planned museums in India.

''The Foundation will be largely responsible for the policy, fund-raising and directing management of the sports museums. A percentage of the revenues from museum activities would be dedicated to supporting the education and the overall well-being of the underprivileged children of India through selected charities and foundations,'' Ms Sachdev told UNI.

Under the umbrella of FM-I, Experience Cricket Museum will be a dynamic and interactive venue dedicated to the history and cultural significance of major sports. The museums would be a platform where future generations can feel the pride of their heritage that celebrates courage and selfless tenacity of the real sportsman"s spirit. It aims to commemorate, preserve and celebrate the evolution and heritage of sports in India through collecting and documenting authentic and historical data and memorabilia and recreating the events through visuals and tactile presentations leading to milestone events and achievements of the supporters and sports personalities including media, sports equipment.

The museums will commemorate the contribution of all major sports - Cricket, Tennis, Hockey, Polo and Golf - sports that have global visibility, national pride and high economic benefit. The commencement of the sports museums will be taken up in stages, first taking the most financially viable sport, such as cricket.

Experience Cricket Museum will be a multi level complex situated in the vicinity to the capital New Delhi or Mumbai. The location will be finalized as per a feasibility study. There are currently no other facilities like this anywhere in India or the world wherever cricket is played. It will showcase and nurture the game through exhibits, events and presentations all form of art presenting the sport including photography, sculptures, paintings, cinema, and virtual games. It will also serve as a central location for hosting nationally visible cricket-related events.

According to FM-1, there does not exist a single centralised facility in India that addresses the fostering of sports and the spirit of sportsmanship that we propose to build. The purpose of the museum will be to create an ambience nurturing and encouraging public interest, support and participation.

The objective of Experience Cricket Museum is to calibrate the future while celebrating the present and commemorating the heritage of cricket in India. It will be a first-of-its-kind venue celebrating the history, cultural significance and worldwide appeal of cricket on a local, national and global level.

The purpose of the museum will be to create an ambience nurturing and encouraging public interest, support and participation. The facility will provide first-ever access to a diverse audience including millions of metro area residents and domestic and international visitors to the museum, maintain close ties to existing sports museums and organizations, actively promote visitation to their locations and raising awareness of their venues.


Story first published: Sunday, February 10, 2008, 12:15 [IST]
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