Guwahati/Hailakandi, May 18: The zonal three-day under-16 open trials of the Assam Cricket Academy got under way at Silchar and Tinsukia yesterday with an overwhelming number of youngsters turning up to impress the Assam Cricket Association spotters at the two venues.
While the District Sports Association, Silchar, which is hosting the Silchar zonal trials at Satindra Mohan Dev Stadium, has registered 370 players, the turnout at the Tinsukia DSA was 204. The 370 in Silchar include 329 from Cachar district, 22 from Lakhipur, nine from Karimganj, four from Karbi Anglong and three each from Hailakandi and Dima Hasao districts.
Only 45 were retained for the Silchar camp by the panel of spotters, comprising India A team fielding coach Subhadeep Ghosh and former first class players Parag Das, Dhiraj Das, Satyagopal Chakraborty and Debojit Chutiya. At Tinsukia, 77 players turned up from Tinsukia district, 56 from Dibrugarh, 37 from Sivasagar, including a few from Charaideo and Moran subdivisions of the district, which come under Charaideo DSA, 29 from Margherita DSA and five from Jorhat.
The spottersí panel of academy head coach Subhrajit Saikia, NCA level II coach Gautam Dutta, former players Pranab Baruah, Pritam Hazrika and Debashish Sinha retained all the players for trials after the preliminary tests and scrutiny, said hosts Tinsukia DSA general secretary Achyut Borthakur.
The ACA will hold similar three-day trial camps at Goalpara and Biswanath Chariali from May 23 and Nagaon and Guwahati from May 30.
The selected players will be groomed at the academy to strengthen the reserve bench of the state, which has been reeling for few years.
The step was initiated on the basis of a recent meeting of the academy with the ACA.