BCCI lays special emphasis on Northeast outreach
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has always taken utmost care to develop the domestic infrastructure for the betterment of the game in remote corners of India. That has been one of the main reasons for the emergence of talented cricketers on the national stage from outside the metros.
While laying special emphasis on the Northeast, the BCCI has prioritised nurturing promising cricketers in those areas to bridge the gulf in quality with other states. The northeastern state units, which came under the BCCI affiliation in 2018-19 thanks to the Justice Lodha panel recommendations, have been recently sanctioned Rs 60 crore for development of indoor practice facilities.
Six states — Mizoram, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur and Sikkim — will benefit from this scheme and have been sanctioned Rs 10 crore each as one-time grant. The construction is likely to begin in November and will be completed within a year. The region is affected by rain for almost six months and the aim is to complete construction work before the onset of monsoon. The rest of the time can be utilised in refurbishing the interior facilities.
Sites have been identified at Dimapur, Shillong, Itanagar, Aizawl, Imphal and Gangtok for these indoor practice centres. Each centre will have at least three state-of-the-art pitches with bowling machines, besides gym and a swimming pool.
“We spend around Rs 3 crore per year for practising outside the state. Besides, the weather that restricts our outdoor activities for half of the year, we also do not have proper facilities at home. For the last year and a half, we haven’t been able to send the players outside the state for practice because of the pandemic. Having indoor infrastructure will immensely benefit us in the current scenario,” IPL governing council member Mamon Majumdar, who is from Aizawl, told The Telegraph.
“This will benefit the future generation of players from the region. Some formalities still remain to be completed but those will be done shortly. We are grateful to BCCI president Sourav Ganguly and secretary Jay Shah for taking keen interest in the region and making it happen so quickly,” Majumdar, who is co-ordinating with the BCCI on behalf of the Northeast states, said.
Shah had promised all necessary help to the region during his visit in January this year.
With the domestic season set to take off, the Northeast states will have to again spend a huge amount to extend practice facilities to its players. The region is fully dependent on the BCCI, which has opened the National Cricket Academy (NCA) doors to its aspiring coaches for a training programme.