Bihar pads up for domestic matches

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Wednesday released the schedule for the 2018-19 domestic seasons in which 37 teams, including nine new ones, will take part in the tournaments. The tournaments include Ranji Trophy, Vijay Hazare Tournament, Twenty20 Syed Mushtaq Ali Tournament and others.

By Roshan Kumar in Patna
  • Published 20.07.18
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STADIUM GEARS UP FOR NEW INNINGS 

Renovation work in progress at Moin-ul-Haq Stadium. Pictures by Nagendra Kumar Singh

Patna: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Wednesday released the schedule for the 2018-19 domestic seasons in which 37 teams, including nine new ones, will take part in the tournaments. The tournaments include Ranji Trophy, Vijay Hazare Tournament, Twenty20 Syed Mushtaq Ali Tournament and others.

After the gap of nearly 18 years, Bihar will get an opportunity to play these matches. Bihar has been put in the Plate Group category. The nine teams for the Plate Group this season are Arunachal Pradesh, Bihar, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Pondicherry, Sikkim & Uttarakhand.

As the ray of hope for Bihar Cricket Association (BCA) came to light

In January this year, the Supreme Court directed BCCI to permit Bihar to play Ranji matches and hence the Bihar Cricket Association (BCA), an associate member of BCCI, had already started preparations for the domestic season matches.

For selection of players from districts, the BCA from February carried out Hayman Trophy (senior), Under-23 zonal cricket tournaments, U-19 Randhir Verma Tournament and U-16 Shyamal Sinha tournament.

Based on performance of players in all four tournaments, the BCA will carry out the conditioning camp of players. Five conditioning camps have been completed and the sixth will be held from next week.

BCA general-secretary Ravi Shankar Prasad Singh said: "Based on performance of domestic-level tournaments, these players have been put in six conditioning camps which comprises 30 to 35 players in each camp. The conditioning camp is to judge the fitness of players."

"Eight different teams comprising 20 players will be selected from these conditioning camps. The players will be selected after the experts go through the performance of the players," added Singh. The BCA is going to constitute eight different teams as Bihar will play eight different tournaments - Ranji Trophy, Vijay Hazare Trophy, Syed Mushtaq Ali Tournament, CK Naidu Tournament, Vinoo Mankand Trophy, Vijay Merchant Trophy, Cooch Behar Trophy and U-23 Tournament (Men). Similarly there are four different tournaments for women teams too. The tournaments will start on September 19 and continue till mid-March.

Shashi, captain of last year's U-23 Patna district cricket team, said: "It is great opportunity for players of Bihar to play such large number of matches after a gap of nearly 18 years. The performance of players will open the door for them in other tournaments, including the Indian Premier League (IPL)."

Echoing the views of Shashi, Arun Kumar Singh, secretary of Patna District Cricket Association, said: "There is lot of talent in the state but as there was no cricket for the past 17-18 years, players failed to showcase their skills. But now players are getting the opportunity."

Also as the Bihar has been placed in the Plate Group category, the state will host some matches. The BCA has started the renovation of Moin-ul-Haq Stadium.

Work on the ground for preparing the pitch and outfield is going on. The pitch will be played as per BCCI guidelines and will be made under the supervision of a BCCI-appointed pitch curator.