Roshanara Club Sealed, an Iconic Cricket Chapter Ends in Delhi

Last Updated: September 29, 2023, 08:26 IST

Heavy police deployed in and outside the Roshanara club. (Pic Credit: Sahil Malhotra)

Heavy police deployed in and outside the Roshanara club. (Pic Credit: Sahil Malhotra)

The next steps and the fate of the hundreds of staff members, who reside in nearby staff quarters, is still unknown.

There was unusual activity around the Roshanara road in Delhi as heavy security barricaded all roads leading to the Roshanara Club. From 5 am in the morning, the police, in multiple buses, secured the area and didn’t allow any entry into the club’s premises.

As CricketNext had reported last night, the iconic cricket venue, where the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), was formed as a society back in 1928, was sealed.

Hundreds of clueless members waited at the main gate around 6 am in the morning but weren’t allowed to enter. Only office bearers of the club were permitted but even their stay was a short one.

The police personnel stationed outside didn’t reveal much but said, “Andar taala lag raha hai. Lease expire ho gayi hai shayad (It’s locked, lease has expired)”.

Another one, manning the entry to Roshanara road, said, “Subah 5 baje se yahi hai. Strict order hai kisi ko andar nahi jaane dena. Bus bharke force hai andar aur bahar (We have strict orders to not let anyone inside, there’s heavy police deployment)”.

The venue has seen plenty of international cricketers in action in the past and the likes of Virat Kohli, Gautam Gambhir, Ishant Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan have played here in the past. Even top IPL players have trained in the premises during the period when the league was played inside a bubble.

The next steps and the fate of the hundreds of staff members, who reside in nearby staff quarters, is still unknown. One of the security personnel said only club is sealed and the staff colony is untouched.

A day before the sealing, the entire staff of the club was in panic mode and many, who have served here since decades, were worried about their future.

Many senior and age-group domestic fixtures have been played at the venue in the past and it also served as a training facility for IPL teams when the tournament was played inside a bubble during COVID-19. For years, it remained as Delhi and District Cricket Association’s (DDCA) go to place to hold off season and selection camps too.

There was a period in Delhi cricket where the association hosted their must-win fixtures of Ranji Trophy at the Roshanara because of its lively surface and even the best in the business have struggled here. The facility continued to retain the old-world charm for years and also had infrastructure for various other sports like tennis, squash, table tennis and swimming.

It’s a common sight to spot former India and Delhi cricketers enjoying hot tea in the premises on a chilly winter morning and then indulging in a game of cricket. In the evening hours, it would translate into a buzzing zone for families who would spend hours in the game of tambola

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