How Mizoram got its cricket ground

CAM treasurer Pu Lalrochuanga Pachuau reveals how an idea sold to a businessman in Guwahati helped them acquire the plot in 2008.

The Suaka cricket ground in Mizoram is guarded by the hills.   -  WRIDDHAAYAN BHATTACHARYYA

“Cricket stadium? Is there a match?” enquired a local when we asked him for directions. Guarded by the hills, the Suaka cricket ground in Sinhmui is near the airport which, perhaps, is an advantage. The touring teams need not drive up till Aizawl.

Before the cricketers pad up, the meandering course may spin their heads but the drive by the greens is an experience. The game is still a baby in the football-friendly region but people are keen for cricket fixtures. They have accepted it.

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Cricket Association of Mizoram’s fight for Board of Control for Cricket in India affiliation started with the ground search. Now that the mission has been accomplished with Mizoram being one of the nine new teams in the upcoming domestic season, CAM treasurer Pu Lalrochuanga Pachuau tells Sportstar how an idea, sold to a businessman, helped the association acquire the plot.

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“After learning that the criteria to get BCCI affiliation, you need to have a proper ground, our search started. We would meet every Saturday and look for a ground. We didn’t have much money, whatever little we had, we bought measuring tapes. Around 33 times, we moved here and there, even up to Kolasib — another end of the state.

 

“We didn’t have money, but we had ideas. Being a management graduate, I thought I could sell one. My father had promised me an aid of Rs 10 lakh, when I met Lal Rotluanga,” he says.

The plot belonged to Rotluanga’s father.  “He was a businessman from Guwahati and I told him that if we get to have a ground there, it would be named after his father, Suaka. It worked,” adds Lalrochuanga who was the president of CAM at that time.

The foundation stone was laid in 2010. The 11 crore project, funded by the DoNER ministry, was handed over to CAM on May 23, 2014. “It is a gift from God.”

The soil comes from Guwahati. The ball, due to the breeze, moves a bit. It also depends on the bowler,” says BCCI-certified curator P. Lalremruata about the pitch.   -  WRIDDHAAYAN BHATTACHARYYA

 

Most of the office-bearers paid out of their pockets before the development ministry dived in.  The ground has three wickets, and the BCCI-certified curators — P. Lalremruata and K. Lalzuiliana — spend at least six hours everyday to monitor over the preparations.

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There is a slim chance of CAM hosting a few games towards the latter part of the season. “The soil comes from Guwahati. The ball, due to the breeze, moves a bit. It also depends on the bowler,” says Lalremruata, better known as MK.

The proposed railroad construction — 51 km broad gauge line between Sairang and Bairabi with bridges and tunnels — could make Suaka the next dream destination for cricket.