Source: News Bharati English02 Jun 2016 10:34:49

Dimapur, June 2: The Board Of Control For Cricket In India (BCCI) president, Anurag Thakur who was in Dimapur as part of a whirlwind tour of the Northeast on Tuesday shared a dream of taking the game of cricket in the North East Region to the next level. Two weeks since taking over charge of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). “In the next couple of years, we can create a new success story as far as cricket in the northeast is concerned,” declared Thakur.Taking his home state of Himachal Pradesh as an example, Thakur highlighted how, from “seven chairs, one iron cupboard and one typewriter,” cricket in hilly Himachal has transformed to now having 5-6 stadiums and its teams are making remarkable stride in the national circuit in a little over a decade.

The significant changes expected to affect the sport in the region will include a new format of junior competition. According to Thakur, the BCCI will introduce junior level tournaments exclusively for affiliates (not full-fledged members) in the region. Giving a broad outline of how it will work, he said the affiliate teams would compete among themselves. Players at the tournaments will be picked by BCCI selectors to make regional teams. These teams will then compete in national level tournaments allowing the young players to get professional and regular playing experience.

Further, making a Nagaland specific announcement, Thakur said a full-fledged “indoor academy” will be established at the Sovima Cricket Stadium (SCS) within a year’s time. This was in response to Lok Sabha MP and Nagaland Cricket Association president, Neiphiu Rio appealing for a ‘centre of excellence’ for cricket in Dimapur in the form of a regional academy under BCCI sponsorship.

On infrastructure, the BCCI president said that first priority should be to create a playing field, dressing rooms and academy. The Board will also ensure that the stadium get ground equipments equivalent in quality provided to other stadiums in the country, he informed. In addition, Thakur also proposed a new stadium, fully funded by the BCCI. To this, the NCA was asked to find and provide land. According to Thakur, the BCCI want to make a stadium in every state of northeast complete with indoor academy. 

On the pending funds for affiliates from the region, he asked for a comprehensive audit report after which funds will be released within 15 days. On the Lodha Committee recommendation, Thakur held that some of the suggestions are not even practical.

Limiting advertisements will affect revenue generation, which ultimately will affect the development of the game and the players, he said. On the ‘one-vote for every state association’ recommendation and demand by state affiliates for full-fledged membership and voting rights, Thakur’s comment was ambiguous. “I’m sure the Supreme Court will look into what is implementable and what should not be considered.”