NorthEast states, Bihar get boost after inclusion in domestic schedule

A combined NorthEast states team and Bihar will play in domestic competitions this year according to a Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) circular, a big step for aspiring players from the region to rub shoulders with top players from other regions

cricket Updated: Sep 22, 2017 23:14 IST
Harit N Joshi
Harit N Joshi
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
NorthEast states,Bihar,Board of Control for Cricket in India
Gujarat players celebrate after beat Mumbai during the Ranji trophy final at Holkar Stadium in Indore. The Ranji Trophy will now see Bihar and a combined NorthEast team participate. (PTI)

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Friday decided to include NorthEast states and Bihar in domestic fixtures except Ranji Trophy, for the 2017-18 season. The BCCI circular was sent to state associations to convey the revised tournament schedule.

The Committee of Administrators (CoA) had promised to look into the grievances of NorthEast and Bihar after they were excluded from the domestic schedule.

The BCCI has formed a special ‘NorthEast and Bihar’ zone. This is a significant step towards recognising cricketers from the NorthEast as BCCI affiliated states like Meghalaya, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Nagaland will get a chance to field teams in BCCI competitions.

Last season, a combined NorthEast team played in domestic tournaments. Mizoram missed out on getting a representation since they are still not affiliated with the BCCI.

“We thank the CoA for making our participation possible in BCCI tournaments. All these years we have just been promised but for the first time it has been made possible and it is only because of the CoA. Whatever they promised to us, they have delivered upon it,” Nabha Bhattacharya, convenor of the NorthEast Cricket Development Committee, told Hindustan Times.

The CoA had assured NorthEast states and Bihar of domestic representation in the age group and women’s tournaments. Their Ranji Trophy participation will depend on when the BCCI adopts the one-state-one-vote policy in its new constitution.

In the coming domestic season, the NorthEast states and Bihar will field teams in the under-16, under-19, under-23 and women’s tournaments. Bhattacharya said Bihar will move to East Zone from the next season.

“This will help us gauge our strengths and weaknesses as we will not play as a combined team. The game will also get a boost in the region as youngsters will see a future for themselves. Earlier, there was no hope of playing top level cricket. It is upon us (NorthEast states) to perform well and stake a claim for Ranji Trophy representation the next season.”

First Published: Sep 22, 2017 23:14 IST