Fund crunch hurts Northeast States' preparations

The long monsoon too is affecting preparations, with Manipur Cricket Association requesting the Board to schedule its 'home games' somewhere in Bengal.

The members of the northeast state associations during a meeting in Imphal on Sunday.   -  Special Arrangement

The six Northeast States, which get ready for their first-class debut, have decided to write to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) requesting to ‘release funds at the earliest’.

Members of the North East Cricket Development Committee (NECDC) met in Imphal on Sunday to prepare a roadmap for the forthcoming domestic season. The committee felt that the Board should release the funds for smooth running of the current tournaments and it must ensure infrastructure development at the earliest.

Read: Reforms googly entangles State Associations

The convenor of the committee and the secretary of the Meghalaya Cricket Association, Naba Bhattacharjee, will be meeting the BCCI officials in Mumbai on September 22 to decide on the future course of action. “The committee is of the opinion that the Board must provide us funds immediately to run the show smoothly and for that I will personally meet the BCCI officials in Mumbai and try and look for a solution,” Bhattacharjee told Sportstar.

With no funds in their kitty, the BCCI had assured financial assistance for the season, but most of the associations claim to have not received any money yet. “We are yet to receive any money from the Board and it will be of great help if they finally release the funds. It is a long season and to get things in place, we need some financial support,” Lobzang Tenzing, the president of the Sikkim Cricket Association, who attended the meeting, said.

Manipur not to play at home

Apart from the financial concerns, long monsoon too has affected preparations for most of the States, with Manipur having written to the BCCI schedule its home games somewhere in Bengal.

“We do not have much time to prepare our home ground (the Luwangpokpa Cricket Stadium in Imphal), so we have requested the Board to shift us to a different venue. We are yet to hear from them,” Singam Priyananda Singh, the secretary of Manipur Cricket Association, said.

Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh have already requested the Board to shift their ‘home’ games to a different venue and most likely could play in Assam as it is close to both the states. Moreover, Manipur’s request to shift matches to Bengal is made keeping the weather conditions in mind and the connectivity between Kolkata and Imphal.