The Assam Cricket Association (ACA) recently declared its plans and programmes for the betterment of the game in the State. The most sought after and richest sporting body of the State has drawn up ambitious plans to upgrade the Dr. Bhupen Hazarika cricket stadium at Barshapara into a state-of-the-art stadium where any level of cricket match can be held, be it an international or IPL fixture. In fact, IPL franchise Rajasthan Royals has already declared that in the next IPL season, it would use ACA stadium at Barshapara as home ground. Indeed it is good news for cricket lovers in the State.
At the same time, if one analyses the performances of the Assam teams at junior and senior levels, the results are not very encouraging, or one would say nothing much to write home about. The key to Assam being recognized as a cricketing powerhouse in the national arena is the performance of its State teams. Merely being a good host in organizing cricket matches is not sufficient. At least ACA should plan out a strategy to produce at least one or two players from the State who can figure in any format of the national team. Guwahati has already hosted quite a few international cricket matches but we are still searching for that elusive talent who can don the white or blue Indian jersey and make cricket lovers in the State proud. Development of cricket at grassroots level in all spheres — be it coaching, grounds and tournaments — is a must.
Dr. Ashim Chowdhury,