Ranji Trophy: Nagaland inaugurates new pavilion

Chief minister Neiphiu Rio walked out for the toss along with the two captains and match referee to kickstart the cricket season in the Northeast.

Analysts at work during the Ranji Trophy fixture in Dimapur on Thursday. Photo: Special Arrangement

Nagaland, one of the nine new teams in Ranji Trophy 2018-19, is also hosting its first fixture, against Mizoram. The Sovima Cricket Ground in Dimapur witnessed a unique moment on Thursday when chief minister Neiphiu Rio — also the president of Nagaland Cricket Association — walked out for the toss with the two captains and the match referee.

Before the action began, the new players’ pavilion was inaugurated. Around 3,000 people filled up the premises to be a part of history. Most of the spectators brought their own vehicle to utilise the open space surrounded by the hills.

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“BCCI secretary Amitabh Chowdhury and Assam Cricket Association secretary Pradeep Buragohain were also present. Our chief minister hosted all officials and members of both the teams for dinner at his resort on Wednesday,” said P. Bendang Jamir, vice-president, Nagaland Cricket Association.

 

“At least 300 school students will be coming to watch the second day’s play on Friday. We are going to provide them with snacks as well,” he added.

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Nagaland had a good day on the field. After bowling Mizoram out for 106. It secured a healthy lead of 83 runs with skipper Rongsen Jonathan unbeaten on 70.