The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) plans to launch five indoor training facilities in the NorthEast by January 1, 2024.
The BCCI secretary Jay Shah and Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma met with the North-East members in Guwahati on Saturday, where they were given an update on the project.
The BCCI had earlier decided to build six state-of-the-art indoor facilities in the six NorthEast states - Sikkim, Manipur, Nagaland, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya. The COVID-19 pandemic had stalled the process, but work resumed in August last year with the board officials visiting the six centres for inspection.
So far, the BCCI has earmarked locations in Sikkim, Manipur, Nagaland, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh. There will be a six-month delay in Meghalaya due to land issues. “The land that was zeroed in earlier is smaller in size, so now, we have proposed another new land, and once the approval comes, the process will start. The Meghalaya facility could be delayed maximum by six months,” a Meghalaya Cricket Association official said.
In May this year, based on the feasibility report, an invitation for design consultancy was taken out by Grant Thornton Bharat, and design consultancy-architect agency Collage Design Private Limited was brought on board for the project.
According to the presentation report, which Sportstar has seen, site visits and soil tests were conducted by the design consultancy team in June this year, following which the tender designs were submitted by Collage Design Private Limited and the request for proposal for onboarding of contractors was submitted by Grant Thornton Bharat in September.
This month, the request for proposal for the onboarding of contractors will be published, and the mobilisation of the contractors will begin on November 1. “Now that the design is ready and the project timeline is declared, the foundation stone for the project will be laid next month. The BCCI will let us know the details in due course of time,” one of the office-bearers of a NorthEast state unit, who attended the meeting in Guwahati, said.
With a shortage of training facilities in the region, the Board’s indoor facility will have four to five cricket practice pitches, a state-of-the-art 25m swimming pool, state of the art gymnasium, an office area for administration, separate locker rooms for men and women cricketers, cafeteria and viewing gallery. According to the presentation, the approximate built-up area on each location will be 1500 sq.m.
According to the presentation, infrastructures for electricity and water supply will be completed by November 24. The structure work till the roof level will be completed by August 1, 2023, and the civil construction work should finish by September 1.
“All the dates have been set. It has been decided that the indoor facilities will be launched simultaneously on January 1, 2024. We are confident that work will complete much before the deadline. For the NorthEast states, it is a huge boost to have indoor facilities,” a BCCI official said.
The NorthEast state teams were allowed to feature in BCCI tournaments from 2018. But so far, most states have struggled due to a lack of grounds and infrastructure. While Sikkim, Nagaland and Meghalaya are scheduled to play some of their Ranji Trophy home matches at their respective home grounds this season, some units will still have to travel to West Bengal because they don’t have enough grounds yet.