Sector 16 Cricket Stadium is the oldest nursery of cricket in Chandigarh. Having produced legends like Kapil Dev, and other cricketers like Yograj Singh, Ashok Malhotra, Chetan Sharma, Dinesh Mongia, VRV Singh, Sidharth Kaul, Tania Bhatt, it trains young cricketers free of cost.
Constructed in the late 1950s, it was operational in 1966, when it had a matting wicket initially and got a turf wicket in 1970.
It has hosted one truncated ODI in 1985 against England and another one against Australia in October 2007. It also hosted the only Test match in 1990 where India played Sri Lanka. One may wonder why national and international matches were not held here over decades?
Having got affiliation from the BCCI as recently as 2019, it is taking baby steps now hosting Ranji and other domestic tournaments, however, with a bigger aim to revive its position as a host of national and international matches in future. “Before the PCA, Mohali came into being, the state cricket associations of Haryana and Punjab used to hold their matches here, the players from these states used to play here and only one or two players from Chandigarh were selected to play in the state teams. After the UT Cricket Association (UTCA) got its affiliation, we have our own team now and a lot of domestic cricket is played here,” says Manjit Singh, General Manager, Cricket Operations, UTCA.
How to enroll to play for UTCA
An advertisement is put up on the UTCA website when the registrations open in the month of March when the new cricket season starts.
Players play under different categories: Boys – Senior level, Under 23, Under 19, Under 16
Girls- Senior level, Under 23, Under 19, Under 15
After the players register, their documents are checked and verified.
Then, they are called for the trials, a total of 104 boys are selected who are divided into 8 teams. Matches ae held, Out of these 104, 40 names are selected and sent to the BCCI for registration. These 40 are then divided into 3 teams, league matches are held and 20 are finally selected who represent the UT Chandigarh cricket team in domestic cricket. Camps are held for these 20 players where coaches guide them.
“In the girls’ category, we receive about 60-70 registrations only in all the four categories,” says Manjit.
Fees: All facilities are free. There is no fees at any stage of playing cricket in the Sector 16 stadium.
Free winter/summer/coloured/ white clothing is provided.
Equipment is personal as all players need individual size of bat, gloves, pads, etc according to their physique.
Current players of repute:
Harnoor Pannu, Raj Angad Bawa who played in the U-19 WC
IPL payers from UT Chandigarh team:
Sandeep Sharma plays for Rajasthan Royals
Manan Vohra plays for Lucknow Super Giants
Raj Angad Bawa for Punjab Kings