Nagaland’s batting all-rounder Rongsen Jonathan will be leading the Northeast zone in the Duleep Trophy, beginning on June 28.
The Northeast zonal selection committee, chaired by zonal convener Naba Bhattacharjee, met in Guwahati on June 4 to finalise the 15-member squad and named Sikkim’s seasoned campaigner Nilesh Lamichaney as the vice-captain.
According to sources who were part of the meeting, the committee decided to emphasise local players of all member states, who performed well last season. “The idea is to promote local talents and give them national-level exposure to play against the top players of the country,” a source told Sportstar.
Just like last season, the support staff has also been shortlisted from local resources.
Sikkim’s Sonam Palden Bhutia will be the coach, while Manipur’s Th. Kamlesh will be the physio and Meghalaya’s Vikash S. Chauhan will be the trainer. Dister Marbaniang has been named the manager, while the BCCI has been requested to nominate a performance analyst and masseur.
“The committee did a thorough scrutiny of records, statistics of players from all six Northeast states and finalised the squad. To avoid any dubious selection calls, all the records were cross-checked and verified,” the source said.
Camp from June 12
Prior to the tournament, an 11-day camp will be held at the Nagaland Cricket Association Ground in Sovima near Dimapur from June 12-23. “In this regard, the state associations are requested to ensure that players and support staff selected from their respective association, as reflected below once again, reach Dimapur either on June 10th or June 11th. The cost of travel, accommodation, transport within Nagaland, food etc. shall have to be borne by the respective association to which the player and support staff belong,” Bhattacharjee wrote in an email to all the six associations from the region.
With the domestic season starting as early as June, the Duleep Trophy is likely to be held in Karnataka, with the facilities in Alur and the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium being used for the games. However, a decision is expected by next week.
The tournament involving six zones will be played in a knockout format and a letter to all the state units last week, the BCCI General Manager-Game Development, Abey Kuruvilla, informed that all zonal conveners need to conduct their respective selection committee meetings and submit the 15-member squad and the list of support staff on or before June 15.
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