Arunachal, Sikkim likely to play Ranji Trophy matches in Assam

With both the states not having proper grounds, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has agreed to allot two grounds in Assam to the two states.

The northeast states will make their Ranji trophy debut this season.   -  Vivek Bendre

The northeast states are gearing up for their first-ever Ranji Trophy campaign. Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim will most likely play their matches in Assam.

With both the states not having proper grounds, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has agreed to allot two grounds in Assam to the two states.

The Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) chief, Vinod Rai, confirmed to Sportstar that the couple of northeast associations have been allotted new venues. “Some grounds (in Northeast) will not be ready, so they have been given adjacent grounds and the associations have agreed to it,” Rai said on Tuesday.

Arunachal Pradesh Cricket Association’s secretary, Tado Kholi, also confirmed the decision. While he did not specify the grounds, it is understood that the DN Singha Stadium in Goalpara, could be one of the venues.

With rain playing a spoilsport, most of the northeast teams are yet to begin their trials. While Sikkim plans to conduct trials on August 27, Arunachal Pradesh will be holding a camp from September 1.

Meghalaya is conducting its camp in Guwahati. The team is likely to travel to Uttar Pradesh for an invitational tournament later this month.

Selection Conundrum

As per the new constitution, only former cricketers who have played at least 10 first-class matches can be a part of the zonal selection committee. But with the northeast states entering the arena for the first time, how will they choose the selection committee?

A senior official said that they plan to write to the CoA inquiring on how their selection panel will be formed. “We are new teams, so hopefully, there will be an exemption for us,” the official said.

Boost for differently-abled cricketers

Meanwhile, in the new new constitution registered by the BCCI with the Registrar of Societies of Tamil Nadu in Chennai on Tuesday, the Board has mentioned setting-up a cricket committee for the differently-abled cricketers. Though the differently-abled cricketers’ associations are not recognised by the BCCI, the inclusion of a cricket committee has created speculations on whether the Board will finally bring them on board.

Rai, however, said: “Once they are recognised in the BCCI’s AGM, these proposals will hold true.”

Former India captain Ajit Wadekar, who passed away last week, had played an instrumental role in developing cricket for the differently-abled players. In 1988, he started the All-India Cricket Association for Physically Challenged (AICAPC) — the first formal body for differently-abled cricketers. However, his efforts of bringing these players under the BCCI umbrella failed.