a long bridge in the background

© Provided by The Indian Express

FANS MAY soon be able to enter Wankhede stadium for a tour with the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) accepting state Tourism Minister Aaditya Thackeray’s proposal to open the iconic grounds for tourists.

The MCA apex council met Tuesday and agreed in principle to work together with the state’s tourism department. A detailed memorandum of understanding (MoU) will be signed in the coming days.

“We at the Tourism Dept had requested @MumbaiCricAssoc to work with us on opening up of Wankhede Stadium for a stadium experience-tour to tourists and fans from around the world. They have agreed in principle to work together on the same,” the tourism minister tweeted Tuesday. Thackeray also stated he held discussions with former MCA president Sharad Pawar and current MCA president Vijay Patil on having a museum of Indian cricket in Mumbai.

Mumbai has an illustrious history in cricket, boasting of 41 Ranji Trophy championships with Wankhede stadium as its spiritual home. It’s a venue which hosted the 2011 World Cup final, which India won by defeating Sri Lanka.

MCA will set up a new museum in the adjacent building and have even formed a committee to start work on it.

Last month, MCA apex council member Ajinkya Naik had proposed that a specific seat at the stadium be named after former Indian skipper MS Dhoni to commemorate the memory of his six that won India the 2011 World Cup.

A stadium guided tour for fans has been organised by many countries, like Melbourne Cricket Ground in Australia, for fans where a slow immersive crawl through its various stands helps soak in nostalgic pasts. Similarly, in Europe many football clubs have opened up their stadiums for fan tours. In India, Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association in Dharamshala have a section where they open a stand for fans who can come and get pictures clicked.

“This is a great collaboration as it will now allow every cricket fan in the world to experience the historic Wankhede stadium. We at MCA are super excited to work with the Tourism dept of Maharashtra to give every cricket lover an unforgettable experience !!,” MCA apex council member Vihang Sarnaik tweeted.