Northeast women's cricket likely to return to 'combined eleven' format

In a BCCI-organised U-19 women’s cricket meet, the entire Nagaland side was bundled out for just two runs in 17 overs; from this September, the northeast states were allowed individual participation in the Board meets, after a long-standing demand.

It is also learnt that the state units would write to the BCCI and the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) requesting them to reinstate them to the old combined eleven.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

 

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI)’s experiment to spread the game by inviting more participation from the northeast states seems to have fallen flat.

Hours after Nagaland’s humiliating performance in the U-19 meet against Kerala, the northeast units have decided to go back to the old concept of having a combined eleven (all states in one team) — at least in the women’s category.

To discuss that possibility, the northeast states will be holding an emergency meeting in Guwahati in the first week of December. “We don’t want such humiliation. This is the first time the teams had individual representation, and we have realised that our standard is extremely low. May be, it will improve in the next few years, but as of now, we will go back to the old format,” Nagaland Cricket Association (NCA)’s joint secretary Ahidur Rahman told Sportstar on Friday.

Read: Kerala skittles Nagaland for just two runs!

In September this year, the northeast states were allowed individual participation in the BCCI meets, after a long-standing demand. But the idea has clearly backfired.

While some of the states allege that lack of funds have made life tougher, the infrastructure is in a shambles in most of the associations. “Lack of facilities, absence of human resource in coaching and training and dearth of funds are some of the challenges we have been facing and the NCA has been hoping for assistance from the BCCI for several years,” NCA vice-president P. Bendang Jamir stated.

The BCCI had formed the New Area Development Programme (NADP) to ensure smooth development of the game in the northeast states. While the NADP has been able to create a buzz for cricket in the region, Friday’s humiliating defeat of Nagaland has even made it re-think.

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“We will take a stock of things when the women’s U-23 and senior tournaments happen. That would give us a better idea about the situation,” NADP convenor and Meghalaya Cricket Association’s honorary secretary, Naba Bhattacharjee, told this publication.

Bhattacharjee admitted that he has already heard from most of the state unions with proposals of going back to a combined eleven in the women’s section from next season. “As of now, that seems like the only way out. We will deliberate on the issue and then appeal to the Board,” Bhattacharjee said.

It is also learnt that the state units would write to the BCCI and the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) requesting them to reinstate them to the old combined eleven.

A couple of months ago, the northeast states hoped for a sunrise. But the outing in Guntur could well bring an abrupt end to the high-flying dreams.