Anurag Thakur announces formation of a combined North-East team to compete in national level competitions
Newly appointed BCCI President Anurag Thakur, in one of his most major decisions since assuming office earlier this month, announced the formation of a combined team from India’s north-eastern states that will take place in national level competition across all age levels, NDTV Sports reports. It is only one among a number of initiatives planned by the board to develop the game of cricket in the region.
"To ensure that youngsters from the region get an opportunity to prove their mettle, a combined North East team would be selected by the national selectors. The team from the North East will take part in all national-level tournaments conducted by the BCCI across all age groups," a BCCI release stated.
"A tournament of the Associate and Affiliated members will be held in the next two months to select a 15-member team that will participate at the national level," it further stated.
The BCCI and the National Cricket Academy (NCA) had conducted three-week camps for Under-16 and Under-19 cricketers of five north-eastern states which are not full members (Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Sikkim and Nagaland) in Dimapur (Nagaland) and Shillong (Meghalaya) respectively, which came to a conclusion on Wednesday.
Rajib Datta, Kiran Kumar and Shyamal Das were the coaches at the U-16 camp while Shiv Sundar Das and Ajay Ratra, two former Test cricketers, ran the U-19 clinic in Shillong alongside Javed Zaman. Kiran More, Cheteshwar Pujara and Dilip Vengsarkar, the National Cricket Academy’s director, also spent time at the camps as consultants.
Thakur made a visit to the two camps accompanied by New Area Development Programme officials and speaking at the concluding ceremony, he further ascertained that the BCCI was committed in their plans to provide further exposure to the youngsters from the north-eastern states.
"I am extremely happy with the two camps organised by the BCCI at Shillong and Dimapur. We have exciting talent coming through and the BCCI will give them a platform to excel. We have taken steps that will lay a solid foundation for cricket development in the North East," he said.
Thakur also added that the BCCI will help fund the formation of a cricket ground and indoor training facility with all necessary gym equipment in each of the five above-mentioned states, provided the state associations took care of the land acquisition procedure.