BCCI focussed on developing cricket in North East: Anurag Thakur

Shillong: Aimed at promoting cricket in North Eastern states, BCCI President Anurag Thakur today announced development of cricketing infrastructure in the region besides the possibility of the Board doubling its annual grants to affiliate and associate member states.

Thakur visited Nagaland capital Dimapur as well as Meghalaya capital of Shillong.

The BCCI president, who took charge 10 days back, was on a whirlwind tour of the New Area Development Project (NADP) states and began with a trip to Dimapur yesterday igniting hopes of transforming the standard of cricket in the region.

“As BCCI President, I am making this announcement that within next couple of months we will start the indoor facility here,” Thakur said while addressing 25 players drawn from NADP states who are undergoing national training here.

The BCCI is trying to improve the facilities keeping in mind the Lodha Committee’s recommendations of giving equal importance to development of cricket in the region.

Yesterday, he announced a similar infrastructure at Dimapur in Nagaland.

“I can understand the problem you faced as I come from a hilly state. Because of heavy rainfall, I know it is difficult to practice in this area,” he said.

Acknowledging that cricket is an expensive game, Thakur urged affiliate and associate member states likes Meghalaya to keep promoting the game by holding camps and games in an organised way.

“In future, you will get lot of support from BCCI including infrastructure funding,” he said, adding that the BCCI is “creating a blueprint” for cricket in North East.

Urging the member states to send the balance sheet to get the annual grants due to them, the BCCI President also hinted at doubling the annual grants.

Presently each affiliate and associate member state gets Rs 50 lakh each.

“We will try and recommend that it should be doubled so that you can do well to meet up with rising expenses.”

According to Thakur, all states under BCCI’s NADP should also have grounds to host international matches, inter-district and inter-club matches and an indoor practice area.

The BCCI President further announced that a tournament will be organised within July 31, where associate and affiliate members will get opportunity to play in junior tournament from where national selectors will pick 15 players who will then participate in BCCI’s various age-group national championships.