Calcutta: Sports ministers and officials of 12 states and Union Territories will converge in the city Monday as the BCCI launches its ambitious plan to spread the game in untapped areas of the country.
Though Union sports minister Vikram Verma has also been invited, the BCCI had received no communication from his ministry till very late Sunday. Apparently, Verma is still overseas and, so, it is assumed he will not be attending what obviously is an unusual initiative.
Monday’s meeting formally sets in motion the project, which has come to be christened as ‘New Areas Development Programme’ (NADP). “We basically aim at spreading the game of cricket across the country. In a bid to do so, we want to explore those areas where facilities are either negligible or absent,” a source close to the BCCI said Sunday.
The BCCI has invited the sports ministers of Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Sikkim, Chandigarh, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu and Lakshadweep. Sports secretaries of these states and Union Territories are also expected to attend the meeting with BCCI president Jagmohan Dalmiya.
According to the BCCI source, the Board will seek to know and identify infrastructure and expertise necessary to develop the game in the regions. “The Board intends to offer to develop infrastructural facilities to these regions. We’ll also bear the expenses involved in providing practice and ground equipment, fees for coaches and consultants and the like. A detailed plan of action will come out only after tomorrow’s meeting,” he added.
He further pointed out that under the NADP, each of these states and Union Territories will be asked to identify local cricket authority as well as some grounds exclusively for the game.