The DDSA indoor hall in Dibrugarh. Picture by Avik Chakravarty
Dibrugarh, April 22: An indoor cricket facility built almost seven years ago to allow cricketers to practise during the monsoon literally had no takers this season. It has been raining cats and dogs here over the past few weeks but the indoor cricket hall at Dibrugarh District Sports Association stadium lies deserted.
The hall was mainly designed for net practice during the rainy season. "No players have come for practice for the past week," said Dipen Gogoi, a coach at DDSA.
In summer, the indoor facility had given players respite from the scorching sun.
"I have not seen any player practising in the indoor hall for the last few months. Nowadays the players do not want to practise but you cannot become a good cricketer without dedication," said Bipul Mohan, who comes to the DDSA stadium regularly to watch matches.
He said the DDSA officials should make it mandatory for budding cricketers to practise in the indoor hall during the rains. "I have not seen such a facility in other stadiums of Assam. It is unfortunate that the DDSA has not been more active in making players use the facility," said a player.
"When Sarbananda Sonowal was the MP from Dibrugarh, he had provided Rs 10 lakh to create the indoor hall," said Munindranath Saikia, the DDSA secretary.
Tridip Das, the secretary of the Cricket Club of Dibrugarh, said the indoor hall was used last year for a summer camp.
Earlier, Ranji Trophy matches were played at the DDSA stadium but now no matches are scheduled in Dibrugarh. "Lack of infrastructure is the reason. In 2005, I watched a Ranji Trophy match in Dibrugarh between Assam and Kerala and after that no matches have been scheduled at DDSA," said Ranjan Rajkhowa, a resident of Dibrugarh.
The Union sports ministry recently sanctioned Rs 12 crore for infrastructure development of the DDSA stadium.
Meanwhile, rain has affected many tournaments in Upper Assam and the organisers are unhappy with the early monsoon.