The gallery was full to the brim due to heavy turnout of the spectators during tournament between Bashundhara Kings and Sheikh Russel Krira Chakra. The followers were heard shouting and clapping in appreciation of their favourite players. It was the situation of “The Kings Arena” during every tournament. After a lull, people are returning to football again, said Bashundhara Kings President Imrul Hassan. The Bashundhara Sports Complex is emerging as a kingdom of not only football but also other sports. Located on 350 bighas of land, the Complex is getting enriched with international standard cricket stadium, hockey stadium, golf course, swimming complex with diving facility, and badminton ground. Spacious road, separate parking, and foolproof security for the players and spectators are salient features.
About inception of the Bashundhara Kings, Imrul Hassan said it was a story of seven-eight years back. The time evidenced ebbing football spectators. In an exclusive interaction, Bashundhara Group Chairman Ahmed Akbar Sobhan lamented predicament situation for the country’s sports. Such discussion gave birth to Bashundhara Kings. The Kings is moving forward surmounting all impediments. Later, Bashundhara Sports Complex came into being with a view to flourishing fostering local and international games. The Sports Complex is expected to be a gateway for country’s sports to the international platform, enabling players to dominate global tournaments. Construction work of the Complex is in full swing. Bashundhara Group Chairman Ahmed Akbar Sobhan used to play hockey. He was captain of the East Pakistan youth team having known for close association with sports throughout life. His elder brother Abdus Sadek was internationally acclaimed hockey and football player. He was the first captain of the renowned Abahani Club. He was the first captain of the national hockey team. Bashundhara Chairman’s two sons are closely associated with and chief patrons of sports. Of them, Bashundhara Group Managing Director Sayem Sobhan Anvir is Chairman of Sheikh Russel Krira Chakra Limited (SRKCL). Bashundhara Group Vice-Chairman Safwan Sobhan Tasvir is President of Lt Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club. Now, Bashundhara Sports Complex is going to immortalise their love for the sports. Badminton, hockey, squash, shooting, football, cricket.. What not? There are separate fields for golf, football and cricket in the complex. The complex has already started to house football and cricket tournaments. Rangpur Riders, a franchise cricket team and Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) franchisee, used the field for practice. Besides, an international standard cricket stadium having capacity of 30,000 spectators is being constructed. There are two cricket fields, one for practice and the other for tournament. The staggered playgrounds in the country are not conducive for promoting sports. So, Bashundhara Sports is the first integrated complex in the country to have all facilities in one premises. Besides, the complex is comprised of cafeteria and green park for the children. It will be an ideal place for family entertainment. There are separate swimming learning centres for minors and adults, alongside three basketball courts, separate fields for football and cricket practices and net practice for players. To ensure uninterrupted power supply, the complex is going to have 6MW power station.
The best football field named “Bashundhara Kings Arena” is constructed in the sports complex. The field is being used as the home venue for three time league champion Bashundhara Kings and Sheikh Russel Krira Chakra since last year. The vast greeneries and wide area have placed it on par with any international standard field. It upholds the standard of FIFA and AFC. The gallery beside Bashundhara Kings Arena has a capacity to accommodate 12,000 spectators. The field has international standard dressing room, floodlight system, and separate food zone for spectators, VIP box, press conference room and other facilities. There is strong drainage system to dispose of even heavy rain water within 15-20 minutes.
Cricket makes up a special place in the hearts Bangladeshi people. Every tournament sees long queue of spectators buying tickets and entering the stadium. So, Bashundhara Sports Complex is comprised of an eye-catching cricket stadium for them. Located at the north zone, a field catering to the ICC standard and having capacity to accommodate 2,500 spectators is being constructed. There is international standard dressing room for home and away teams. In the south zone, an ICC standard stadium coupled with a gallery with capacity of 30,000 spectators is being constructed. There will be global standard dressing room, press box and special arrangement for ICC Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU). Apart from sports, concerts and circuses can be organised in the field. The cricket stadium will comprise 12 indoor and 12 outdoor net practice facilities. It is expected to be the best venue for the national and international tournaments.
Once, hockey was a popular game in Bangladesh. The country had a good position in the Asian level competitions. Such sports gradually declined and lost ground. However, the country has seen a turnaround in hockey recently. The country’s first ever franchise tournament “Hockey Champions Trophy Bangladesh 2022” was organised by Bashundhara Group’s sister concern ACE. In the south zone, a hockey stadium in line with FIH standard is being constructed. The stadium having 10,000 spectators capacity will be enriched with floodlights, dressing room and state-of-the-art facilities. Terming the Bashundhara Group a hockey family, national star Russell Mahmud Jimmy hoped the said hockey stadium will pave the way for improvement of this popular game.
Mohammad Siddikur Rahman sketched the landscape of the country’s golf.
He is two-time Asian Tour winner and premier Bangladeshi golfer. He is pioneer of professional golf in the country followed by Jamal and Sohel. Bashundhara Sports Complex may be a training hub for the future golfers.
The Bashundhara Golf (BG Golf) is being constructed in the south zone. A number of 144 golfers will be able to practice together. The BG Golf will comprise 200 meter long driving range and 40 teeing areas. It will be equipped with modern dressing room, and light in range. There will be Bashundhara Mini Golf Course with global standard 18 hole golf course and other adventures. The golf complex may be a good place of spending quality time. The people of the Bashundhara Residential Area will be given preference there. There will be golf simulator, VIP lounge, coffee shop, business meeting room, and conference room. The third floor is specially designed for entertainment of the VIPs.
People have craze for indoor games also. Table tennis, volleyball, handball, squash, shooting and swimming have secured fames for many in the world. The Olympic has glorified such games further.
Given the situation, Bashundhara Sports Complex has focused on the indoor games. An exquisite indoor complex is being constructed in the north zone. There will be an Olympic size swimming pool, squash court, gymnasium and multipurpose sports court. The indoor complex will be enriched with three international standard squash courts having a capacity to house 150 spectators. A gymnasium of 5,000 square feet will have all facilities and equipment. Besides, a 50 x 50 multipurpose sports court will have three basketball, four badminton, one futsal, one handball, and two volleyball courts. Yoga studio, scopes for karate, taekwondo, judo, table tennis and shooting of 10 metre, 25 metre and 50 metre are available here. There will be residential facilities for players, coaches and match officials.
Olympic Style Swimming Pool
Michael Phelps, Mark Andrew Spitz, and Ian James Thorpe need no further introduction. Bangladesh has potentials to produce international standard swimmer. Bangladeshi swimmer Brojen Das was the first Asian to cross the English Channel.
Bashundhara Sports Complex has 50 metre swimming pool and eight lane Olympic size swimming pool catering to requirement of FINA. There will be HVAC air conditioning, water heating system, modern dressing room and other facilities. Besides, 20 metre swimming pool of six lanes is being constructed here. It will also be of Olympic size.
Bashundhara Sports Complex is comprised of 90 metre outdoor archery and 25 metre indoor range.
There will be three hard surface tennis courts complying with requirements of the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF). There will be a park to add hue to the complex. Bashundhara Sports Complex is going to set a rare example in Asia.
(Translated by M Firoz Al Mamun)