Chairman of the Board of Control for Cricket in India Technical Committee and former India captain Sourav Ganguly received a rapturous welcome here on Thursday.
Sourav unveiled the foundation stone of an indoor practice facility and gymnasium here.
He was accompanied by Meghalaya chief minister Conrad Sangma, BCCI acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary and Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) joint secretary Avishek Dalmiya.
Conrad is the president of the Meghalaya Cricket Association (MCA).
Hundreds of excited children and adults, as well as the Meghalaya men’s and women’s cricket teams, thronged the cricket ground to catch a glimpse of Sourav.
Sourav said this season is a “great moment” for the Northeast that has been brought into the fold of the Ranji and Vijay Hazare trophies.
He said there are talents in Meghalaya waiting to be tapped.
“From the East, no one expect Mahendra Singh Dhoni from Ranchi to lead the Indian squad for nearly 300 games. So when all of you (referring to the players) pick up the bat and play for different levels, your aim should be to be like him from this part of the world because there is an enormous amount of talent here and it is just the exposure that is required.”
An indoor practice facility has long been on the wishlist of the MCA here, one of the wettest places on earth.
The facility will be built at a cost of over Rs 5 crore and be funded by the BCCI.
A plot of land measuring 23.7 acres in New Shillong has been identified for constructing a cricket stadium.
Dalmiya said the BCCI aims to improve the infrastructure of cricket in Meghalaya significantly over the next five years to help the state catch up in terms of facilities with the rest of the country.