Sports has been an integral part of my life, like it is for countless individuals in our country. I attended a school that did not possess a cricket ground of its own; I had to therefore access facilities reserved only for those privileged enough to attend schools that had their own grounds.
The intense desire and passion for sports has driven me to contribute my energy towards the development of sports. In particular, this drive has resulted in the creation of the internationally acclaimed Dr. D. Y. Patil Stadium (you can take a virtual tour here - comming soon). The stadium is a tribute to my father, Padmashree Dr. D. Y. Patil, a visionary who strongly believed that economic and social transformation can be achieved in the world through education and healthcare. It was because of his constant encouragement and support that I was able to pursue my dream that has resulted in the birth of this stadium.
Sports infrastructure in India has primarily been created by government and public organizations, as well as related sports associations. It was therefore an extremely challenging task for me to conceptualize and create this international-standard facility without the financial support of relevant state and government bodies.
I remember the times when I first approached a number of financial institutions for assistance for providing term loan facilities. I was met with a very cynical response and an expression of disbelief – how could an individual contemplate putting up a facility of this nature without any viable financial plan to sustain such an enterprise? I must admit with complete honesty that I did not foresee the utilization of this facility for important matches (such as the IPL); the only driving desire was to create a labour of love and a tribute to the wonderful game of cricket which I passionately love.
The construction of the stadium began in January 2005, and work was completed in a record two years time. I was lucky to have a fantastic team comprising of my friend and classmate Abey Kuruvilla, our sports secretary Shri Avinash Salvi and many others. My brother Ajeenkya Patil was a source of active support and encouragement throughout my endeavour . As the saying goes, “When you create something with positive intent, the Almighty and Divine smiles on you.” To our great fortune, the Indian Premier League (IPL) came into existence.
We requested the Board for Cricket Control in India (BCCI), the IPL, the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) and the Mumbai Indians franchisee holders Reliance Industries Ltd. to conduct their matches, including the finals, at our stadium. To our great fortune, the request was accepted. This honour that was accorded to us is a testimony to our efforts and the quality of infrastructure we have created. My heart felt gratitude to Hon Sri Sharad Pawar(ICC President elect), Mumbai Cricket Association & IPL Board for providing us with opportunity to showcase our ability to the world for which I will always be grateful. This facility has been universally appreciated by all those who have visited it, and is my humble contribution to the game of cricket.
I commenced the journey of building this facility out of passion and desire. It was also extremely inspiring to see sports fans emotionally connect with the stadium and be a part of this ongoing journey.
The future beckons the D.Y.Patil Stadium. Long-lasting memories are what we want every cricket enthusiast to take away from our facility. Some day the stadium will witness sporting feats like a Sunil “Gavaskar 221” in Oval test, a Sachin “Sharjah 143”, a Kumble “perfect 10” or a Laxman “VVS 281”, that people shall take home from here.
I invite you to explore our website, and look forward to seeing you at the DYPSA soon.
With warm regards,
VIJAY D. PATIL
Dr. D.Y. Patil Sports Academy