Our Sports Reporter
GUWAHATI, July 21: Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is set to construct a state-of-the-art cricket academy in Assam if it receives land for the purpose. The announcement was made by BCCI acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary during his visit to Guwahati today.
Addressing a media, Choudhary, who was in the city to participate in the ‘National Workshop on Sports Law and Management,’ said, “The Assam Cricket Association is making sincere effort to start an academy in the line of NCA. I feel, it is the time the proposal got positive response. The academy can provide huge benefits to the region as from this year six Northeast states will make debut in the Ranji Trophy. Cricketers from all eight states can use this academy to improve their cricketing skill.”
However, he made it clear that the land for the academy should be provided by the Assam Government. “We’re ready to build a state-of-the-art cricket academy in Assam, superior to our Bengaluru complex. But for that land should be provided to us. During my last visit to Assam, ACA officials showed me a few plots of land. One of them situated at Dibrugarh was very nice. I feel it very suitable for the propose academy. The Assam Cricket Association should take the matter to the government. If they manage to get land clearance, we will start the construction as early as possible.”
Convener of the New Area Development Programme Committee Naba Bhatacharjee, who was accompanying Choudhary during his visit, too supported the proposal of Assam Cricket Association. Bhattacharjee, the secretary of the Meghalaya Cricket Association, said, “Activities of cricket has increased in the Northeast. So a cricket academy of the stature of NCA is the demand of the hour for the region.”
Meanwhile a memorandum, signed by the current and former players of the State, was handed over to Choudhary by the State cricketers today when they sought BCCI’s intervention to stop the Railways from randomly pulling out their players for camps and depriving them from playing for their home state. A former cricketer, who signed in the memorandum, said: “Railways invite their players for trials every year. But once the player joined such camps, most of the players get a step motherly attitude from Railways. Last year the Assam team suffered badly as Krishna Das and Arup Das, two main strike bowlers, were not allowed by the Railways to play for Assam in the middle of the season even though both were not selected in the main squad of Indian Railways for the Ranji Trophy. It shouldn’t have happened. Either Railways used to select players in the team or allow them to play in their home state without creating small issues like NOC. So we have requested the BCCI to intervene in the matter and take necessary steps.”
Assam Cricket Association secretary Pradip Buragohain today supported the stand taken by the current and former players on the practice of Railways. In a brief reaction, he said, “We want that the players should get the opportunities to play. It is no matter which team they are representing. Last year Railways didn’t include Krishna Das and Arup Das in their squad and they turned out for Assam. But in the middle of the season they imposed ban on both of them alleging that the duo didn’t get mandatory NOC before joining the Assam squad. Such acts should be stopped forthwith.”
Commenting on the issue, Choudhary said, “It’s a serious matter. We should sort it out through discussion as early as possible so that no State has to suffer.”