Shillong Cricket Academy inaugurated

State gets Rs 50 lakh for prompt submission of fund utilisation certificates

By Our Reporter

 SHILLONG: BCCI vice president Chitrak Mitra on Saturday inaugurated the Shillong Cricket Academy here with an aim to groom the budding cricketers of the state.

The first batch of the Academy has 112 young cricketers between the age group of 9-12 years.

Headed by Gideon Kharkongor as the director, six coaches will impart knowledge in basic cricketing skills, nutrition, game psychology besides other key ingredients to the students of the Academy.

The youngsters will also avail of all facilities necessary for the game, like training kits, gymnasium, bowling machine and will be reviewed using video analysis.

Speaking at the inaugural function, Mitra lauded the Meghalaya Cricket Association (MCA) for setting up the Academy while adding that the MCA was the sole organisation in the North East which was awarded a Rs 1 crore grant from the BCCI for the development of cricket.

It may be mentioned that Meghalaya was the runners up in the U-19 and U-22 championship for the BCCI Associate Members held recently. However, the team did not fare well at the U-16 level.

“With this (Cricket academy), a new project of catching them young, the team will also do well at the U-16 level within a couple of years,” Mitra said.

Mitra informed that Meghalaya has been awarded the second instalment of another Rs 50 lakh for their prompt submission of utilisation certificates of funds to the BCCI unlike other states in the region.

Mitra said that the BCCI is willing to expand the game of cricket in the North Eastern region and the Board has even constituted a committee to develop the game here.

Meanwhile speaking on the occasion, MCA president Conrad Sangma hoped that the Academy will help cricket pick up pace in the State.

“The academy, having a ground, a gymnasium and other facilities would further boost the popularity and development of the game here,” Sangma added.

Sports and Youth Affairs Commissioner and Secretary D P Wahlang said the physical structure of tribal youths here is poised for playing cricket.

“With an average height less than 6 feet, we cannot compete in other disciplines like basketball, volleyball or football,” Wahlang said.

Wahlang recalled that the Cricket Ground at Polo was earlier used for feats and melas. “It’s heartening to see these developments,” he added.

He also urged the BCCI vice president to conduct a mini IPL or a NE Premier League on the lines of IPL for the cricket lovers of the region.

It is learnt thet the MCA is also looking to set up an indoor facility as the ground remains rain marred for half of the year in Shillong.

The Government of Meghalaya has also earmarked 25 acres for the development of cricket in the state at the new township at Mawdiangdiang.

Meanwhile, the BCCI on Saturday expressed concern over the delayed submission of utilisation certificates of funds by cricket boards of states in the Northeastern region.

“Except for Meghalaya, individual states in the north east, who are the associate members of the BCCI, have not sent us their accounts and project reports,” BCCI Vice President, Chitrak Mitra said on the sidelines of the official inauguration of the Shillong Cricket Academy.

Nagaland, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim are currently associate members. The BCCI had given Rs 50 lakh assistance for promotion of the game in these states.

In the North East, Assam and Tripura are the only permanent members of the BCCI.He said these states should submit their accounts and project report “in time” if they are to avail the second instalment of another Rs 50 lakh. (With additional inputs from PTI)

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