The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) will bear the entire cost of the cash-strapped North Eastern States Associations for their debut in the national cricket championship for Ranji Trophy debut.
The BCCI is committed to promoting cricket in the sixth North Eastern States, which have been inducted as the Sixth BCCI Zone after North, Central, West, South and East zones. The board will bear all the expenses on their Ranji Trophy debut this season.
The Supreme Court-appointed Lodha Committee had mandated the State cricket associations from the North-East to field their teams in the Ranji Trophy Championship. However, some of them are compelled to play their home games in other States as they do not have adequate infrastructure for first-class cricket, national news agency PTI has reported.
Meanwhile, the BCCI had advised the new entrants to the Ranji Trophy fold, the State cricket associations from the North East to refrain from the practice of taking professional players from other States for their teams. The matter was discussed between the representatives of the BCCI and its newly-inducted sixth zone – North East. However, as per the BCCI guidelines, each team can engage three professional players from the other States. The States will have to bear the salary bill of the professional players hired from other States. The States are advised to promote their home talent.
The BCCI will be providing all the six North East Zone State associations with the accredited NCA coaches, physios and trainers.
“BCCI has assured that all the State teams will be provided with coaches. We will have to submit our requirements and accordingly, they will depute the support staff. The entire expenses will be borne by the board,” PTI has quoted an anonymous North Eastern State member as saying. “We will not be paid any grant directly. We need to submit the budget clearly mentioning all the overheads and BCCI directly makes the payments. It is difficult to pinpoint a figure but anything in the range of 4-5 crore needs to be spent per state. Infrastructure and logistics are two key issues,” he added
Sikkim and Arunachal are reportedly also allowed to play their home games at neutral venues in neighbouring States as they do not have the appropriate infrastructure to host first-class cricket.
“Sikkim will be playing their home games in Siliguri while Arunachal Pradesh is likely to play in one of the grounds in Assam. Development of infrastructure was the key issue that was discussed along with streamlining the budget requirements. There will be a few matches between the NE States, where teams need to be travelling by train as there is no direct air route. The railway bookings need to be done accordingly,” the official has said.
The NE State representatives also want to have their pre-season camps in Southern states like Karnataka and Tamil Nadu due to the prevalent monsoon in eastern India. “Meghalaya will have their pre-season camp at Guwahati. Some of the States will find it convenient if camps are held in Tamil Nadu or Karnataka, where they can avail all state of the art facilities,” he added.