Shillong: Meghalaya Cricket Association (MCA) secretary, Naba Bhattacharjee has said that the indoor practice facility cum gymnasium will be a boon for the cricketers since the region experiences heavy rains for the most part of the year.
“Our cricketers are unable to practice when there is rain. For six-seven months of the year, they don’t have a place to practice. Every time our cricketers have to start fresh,” Bhattacharjee said.
Former Cricketer and Indian captain, Sourav Ganguly will be visiting Shillong on Thursday to attend the foundation stone laying ceremony of the indoor practice facility cum gymnasium at the MCA cricket ground in Polo by Meghalaya chief minister, Conrad Sangma.
According to the MCA secretary, the indoor gymnasium will be built at a cost of Rs 5.35 crore which will be funded by the Board for Control of Cricket in India (BCCI).
According to Bhattacharjee, the funds for the indoor gymnasium will be directly handled by the BCCI while the design and drawing for the facility have been done by the MCA.
Meanwhile, Meghalaya will make their debut Ranji-Trophy debut against Arunachal Pradesh on November 1 which will be played at the MCA cricket ground in Polo.
Bhattacharjee said, “It is a defining moment for cricket in Meghalaya, but the challenges lie ahead.”
He also expressed confidence that from the “Plate Group”, the state cricket team will move to the next level in the next two to three seasons. Admitting that football was still the number one game in Meghalaya, the MCA secretary, however, pointed out that there is big money in cricket. According to him, a player can earn around Rs 14 lakh to Rs 16 lakh in a season.
He also pointed out that with the BCCI approving Meghalaya and others states from the region to play domestic cricket from this season, and with funds from the BCCI available the game will be promoted by the MCA in Meghalaya.
Meanwhile, the MCA also informed that the state government has earmarked land of about 23.7 acres in New Shillong for building a cricket stadium even as Bhattacharjee said that the official handing over (of the land) will be held next month.