North eastern states set to play Ranji Trophy next year
New Delhi:The Committee of Administrators (COA) today assured that all six north eastern states will be playing Ranji Trophy as individual units next season with BCCI GM (Game Development), Ratnakar Shetty, given charge of their smooth integration.
The six states Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Sikkim, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh met Vinod Rai for one and a half hour with plea of taking part as a combined unit this season.
However, they were assured that by next season they would be part of Ranji Trophy while they will play as separate states in the age group categories (U-16, U-19 And U-23) from this season onwards.
"The COA chief Mr Vinod Rai told us that since Ranji Trophy is starting from October 6, it will be difficult to play this season. However we will be playing as individual states from next season. After all these years, this is the first time we have got complete assurance. Prof Shetty will look into implementation part," north east convenor Naba Bhattacharjee told PTI today after the meeting.
Rai on his part said that NE states will be eligible to play once Supreme Court pronounces the verdict on their membership status.
"They will be eligible to play Ranji Trophy once Supreme Court decides on their full membership status," Rai told reporters after the COA meeting.
The good news is that COA has decided that U-16 National Championship (Vinoo Mankad) and U-23 (CK Nayudu Trophy) will have a specific North East Zone.
"The U-16 and U-23 BCCI tournaments are held zone wise. While Assam and Tripura continue to play in East Zone, a dedicated North East Zone will be created. The top two from the zone will qualify for the knock outs," Bhattacharjee added.
On junior cricket, Rai said:"I think junior (age-group) cricket has already been factored in."
The only problem is Cooch Behar Trophy (U19), whose scheduled has been already chalked out.
"The COA said that technical committee chairman Sourav Ganguly will take a call in this regard," he further added.
It was learnt that when the units requested for disbursement of annual grants, Rai instructed them to file an affidavit signed by their presidents that atleast 80 percent recommendations of Lodha Panel is adhered to.
"We told COA that you don't need to disburse huge amounts to new units like us but enough funds to run the show," he added.
It was also learnt that Assam Cricket Association (ACA) has taken a bank loan of Rs 6 crore for organisation of the T20 international match between Australia and India at its newly constructed stadium in Barsapara.
The ACA currently doesn't get BCCI grants as there has been adverse reports of financial discrepancies found in its audited accounts.
"We are taking a bank loan of Rs 6 crore and CM of Assam Sarbananda Sonowal also has assured help on behalf of the state government," said ACA Secretary Pradip Buragohain.