Bengal skipper to play Ranji match in stadium built by dad & named after him


DEHRADUN: Ranganathan Parameswaran Easwaran, 59, is a proud man. He ought to be. Cricketer Abhimanyu Easwaran, is all set to play a Ranji match at the Abhimanyu Cricket Academy Stadium, a playground built by his dad, Easwaran Sr, and named after him.
On January 3, as Uttarakhand locks horns with Bengal, Abhimanyu, who was in the Indian cricket side which recently toured Bangladesh, will take the field. He is the captain of the Bengal side.
To transform his dream of turning his son into a national level player into reality, Easwaran said he used “every single penny” to make the training track for which construction began in 2005.
Instances of stadiums and pavilions being named after cricketers is nothing new. However, this would perhaps be the first time that an Indian cricketer will be playing a first-class game in a stadium named after him.
An “exuberant” father and an equally “excited” son are eagerly awaiting Tuesday morning for the start of the match. “I have fond memories of this ground, where I practiced hard. This place gave me the direction and skills to pursue the sport,” an emotional Abhimanyu, 27, told TOI on the eve of the Group B match. He added that due to the tight training schedule, he doesn’t get as much time as he would like to train in his favourite field.
“However, I do try my best to be here for 20 to 25 days in a year. This ground makes me so nostalgic,” the right-handed batsman said. “But it is really the hard work of my father that has given me this opportunity.”
On his part, Easwaran Sr said, “To be honest, Abhimanyu playing a Ranji match is big but I will not be satisfied till the time my son plays at least 100 matches for the country. That said, I have remained completely devoted to the game and have put in years of service to train cricketers here.”
He pointed out that the stadium is equipped with a gym, swimming pool, 60 “accommodation” rooms, floodlights for day-and-night games and 20 hostel rooms. “We have given many top players, be it for Madhya Pradesh or Nagaland. Cricketers trained here are playing for Kenya and Kuwait too,” said Easwaran, who was a chartered accountant and during his early years even sold ice-cream. “I studied while selling ice-creams and it was an outcome of the hard work that I became a CA. Not to forget, I was a newspaper vendor too.”
Easwaran said it was in 1988, seven years before his son was born, that he started the Abhimanyu Cricket Academy. As for the stadium, he explained: “I purchased a big piece of land in the Purkul area of Dehradun in 2005 and started the construction work in 2006. I cannot talk about the total amount used for it but I can say that I spent every single penny that I had in making the stadium.”
Top Indian cricketers like Shreyas Iyer and Mohammad Shami have also practised in the stadium. The ground has been adopted by BCCI and is allotted for domestic matches.


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