Nagaland rolls ball for first ever Ranji Trophy match
Eastern Mirror Desk
Dimapur, Oct. 31: Nagaland will be hosting the first ever national domestic cricket front, the Ranji Trophy, which is scheduled from Nov. 1-4 in Dimapur. A commemorative event marking the 1st Ranji Trophy match was conducted at the Niathu Resort at Chumukedima on Wed. Oct. 31
The acting secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), Amitabh Choudhary, and the general secretary of the Assam Cricket Association Pradip Buragohian were the special invitees to the programme where Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio was the chief host.
Rio, who is also the president of Nagaland Cricket Association (NCA), appreciated and lauded the cricket associations, BCCI, players, and the entire official for their support and effort made for the success of the event.
“Northeast has huge potential in sports but we only lack infrastructures,” said Rio while adding that the tournament will give message to the youths in their love for sports.
Rio said that the Nagaland Cricket Stadium at Sovima has been handed over to NCA after an agreement made between the cricket association and the state government. Lamenting that the stadium is half way through, he mentioned that the ‘BCCI had assured to provide the entire fund for the development without taking any fund from the state government from now on.’
Rio also mentioned, ‘Anurag Thakur, the former president of BCCI, promised that another new stadium will be developed in Nagaland.’
“It was our dream for Ranji trophy to be played in Nagaland. But it depends on the players to excel and exhibit your talents so that you will not only play in this zone but also in the national games,” added Rio.
During his speech, Choudhary, said, “Northeast is more than equal in terms of potential comparing to the rest of the country.” He encouraged the players to play at their best saying that the ‘difficult step is when one enters the realms of first class cricket.
“Nobody will be happier than I am to greet the first boy or girl from the Northeast who plays for his or her country, and I look forward to that,” added Choudhary.
General secretary of NCA, Abu Metha, also spoke during the event. Asserting that the 1st Ranji Trophy Match is ‘a dream come true,’ he said that the hard work and perseverance under the leadership of the chief minister had indeed paid off.
“Tomorrow morning, as the coin is tossed and the first ball is balled, for many of us, dreams will be realised. The doors have been opened for every part of Nagaland,” said Metha.
“The dream of every cricketer and the aspiration of every cricketer are the aspiration and dream of the NCA,” assured Metha while appealing the audience to join the association in the journey as they strive for the dreams of youngsters.
The joint secretary for NCA, A Rahman, who presided over the event, reminded that, two years back, the BCCI declared that Nagaland Cricket Stadium has the ‘best pitch in Northeast.’ He also said that the Nagaland cricket team will be conducting 14 tournaments this year, out of which three tournaments have already been conducted.
Earlier, the dignitaries, officials, and the entire players were felicitated with gifts. A welcome address was given by the treasurer of NCA, Basu Damani, while a trio was performed by the ‘Coloured Keys’ as a welcome song.