Calcutta: Cricket is set to make a debut in a full-fledged way this year in those parts of India where the game is not so popular . A new project, launched by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) here on Monday, has paved the way for ushering in a tournament, involving nine states and Union Territories.
The tournament may be held in September and is going to be an annual affair, the prime objective of which will focus on identifying and grooming the local talents, BCCI president Jagmohan Dalmiya said after his meeting with sports ministers and officials.
“We expect a good fast bowler to make it to the national squad from these areas one day,” he remarked, announcing the formation of the Board’s New Areas Development Programme (NADP).
Nagaland and Lakshadweep were not represented at the meeting.
The BCCI has also formed a special committee — comprising Professor Ratnakar Shetty, M.P. Pandove, Niranjan Shah and Chitrak Mitra while Board joint secretary Jyoti Bajpai has been appointed convenor of the committee.
Dalmiya said that in a move to unearth local talents from these areas, the NADP will kick off with under-17 and under-19 tournaments. The meets will not be limited-overs engagements as the Board is going to implement the spin stalwarts’ suggestion in a recent conclave of banning one-dayers till 17 years at domestic level, Dalmiya added.
The BCCI president also announced a slew of measures, including involvement of expert coaches in the NADP project. “Coaches will be picked from various zonal centres and even the National Cricket Academy,” Dalmiya said.
The BCCI will cough up all direct expenditures towards the talent search and coaching programmes, including conveyance and fees for the coaches and consultants, who will be sent to these areas to help prepare grounds and wickets, basic practice as well as ground equipment.
Monday’s meeting was held in two sessions — representatives of the states and Union Territories, including five sports ministers, were first asked to submit their proposals and ground realties in introducing cricket and thereafter, the BCCI held an interaction with them in chalking out plans to develop the game there. “The details of the NADP are yet to be finalised, but we have set the ball rolling from today,” Dalmiya maintained.