North East states to meet CoA for clarity

The members of the six states are set to meet with the CoA in New Delhi on Friday, where the emphasis will be on the ‘tournaments’ - Ranji Trophy, Under-16 , Under-19.

Naba Bhattacharjee, convenor of the North-East-Cricket-Development-Committee (NECDEC), believes that playing politics is not important, but playing cricket is.   -  Special Arrangement

After the six North Eastern states wrote to Committee of Administrators (CoA) demanding state-wise representation in the country’s domestic fixtures for the 2017-18 season, Naba Bhattacharjee, convenor of the North-East-Cricket-Development-Committee (NECDEC) feels this is just the beginning.

“You have to start somewhere. You can assess the performance of the teams and give them a chance accordingly. Meghalaya and Manipur for example have fared well,” Bhattacharjee told Sportstar. After being left out of the Ranji Trophy this season, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Nagaland and Manipur wrote a letter to CoA last week asking to field individual teams.

“For other teams, the board could create infrastructure to foster talent. However, funding is the ailment, really. Last four years, we’ve had no money,” veteran administrator Bhattacharjee said.

The members of the six states are set to meet with the CoA in New Delhi on Friday, where the emphasis will be on the ‘tournaments’ - Ranji Trophy, Under-16 , Under-19. “We’re saying the teams should not be clubbed together. Last two years, we’ve been playing as a combined team at the U-19 level, but it’s time we played state wise. And our names don’t even feature in the Under-23 and Women's fixtures,” Bhattacharjee said.

“If someone’s not up to the mark, we should put in more efforts. See, ultimately everything boils down to votes,” he added.

“Once we are part of the management, we'll have a say in these things. We're totally neglected now- till 2012, we used to have camps , tournaments, training for umpires and coaches - but there has been barely any activity ever since."

With the North East starved off cricketing action, Bhattacharjee expressed qualms over the current state of affairs. “After Under-19, what will my cricketers play? They don’t have any fixtures; not even Twenty20 games to play.

“Many of the cricketers have left the sport and opted for football and other games because they see no future,” he said.

Meanwhile Bhattacharjee, who’s also part of a seven-member panel appointed to oversee feasibility of Lodha reforms, said, “Seventy-years cap for administrators was agreed upon unanimously ... cooling-off period must be lifted and in its place, an individual can hold office for nine years on the trot; that was one suggestion.

“I think that’s justified because three years is a short time. So, nine years was agreed without the cooling-off. And there should be five selectors instead of three,” he said, adding: “Playing politics is not important, playing cricket is.”