Rangpo (East Sikkim), Aug. 29: The chief administrative officer of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) failed to hold out anything new for the Sikkim Cricket Association (SCA) during his visit here today.
The senior BCCI official arrived here along with the manager of cricket operations, Suru Nayak, and the secretary of the Assam Cricket Association, Bikash Baruah, to inspect the infrastructure for the sport at the Sikkim Mining grounds. They also held consultations with the SCA for the development of cricket in the state.
But the lack of any definite promise and the fact that no headway was practically made regarding the affiliation of the SCA to the cricket board has led to speculation that the visit of the BCCI officials was prompted by pressure from Sikkim High Court.
The court had issued an order in May enabling the SCA or any other organisation or person to file a contempt case against the BCCI if its officials did not speed up the affiliation process.
The BCCI members were flown in directly to the Mining grounds, part of the 23 acres possessed by the SCA. The association plans to build a cricket stadium and an academy here.
Polly Umrigar who had earlier visited the field, located 30km from Gangtok, had said it had the potential of being the most picturesque cricket field in the world. Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Shib Sundar Das and Debasish Mohanty have played here in Under 16 and Under 19 matches much before they represented Team India. Now the Mining grounds await the nod of the BCCI to be developed into an international cricket field.
Later in the day, the trio held a meeting with officials of the SCA led by its president P.S. Tamang who is also the sports and youth affairs minister of the state.
However, there was no major assurance from Shetty on developing the game in Sikkim. He, however, promised some funds for school cricket and the state academy. Both of these, Shetty admitted, were regular aid programmes available to all states across the country.
After the meeting, Shetty told reporters that he had taken note of the demands. “We will put the matter before the board,” he added.
SCA president Tamang said they were positive that the BCCI would come forward to help develop cricket in Sikkim and said this would give a major boost to the talent in the state.
“During the last BCCI meeting in Mumbai we met the board president Sharad Pawar and presented our case before him. A decision was taken for promotion of cricket in the Northeast and Sikkim and Manipur were identified,” Tamang told The Telegraph.
Preparations have begun at Kanchenjunga Stadium for the Ranji Trophy match between Bengal and Rajasthan to be played there from December 1, report correspondent.
“We are concentrating on levelling the ground and preparing the wicket,” said Jayanta Bhowmik, the cricket secretary of Siliguri Mahakuma Krira Parishad. A lawnmower will soon arrive from Calcutta for the outfield. For the pitch, soil has been brought from Malda. “We will dig the surface about three inches deep and replace the top soil,” said Bhowmik. He added that the base of the wicket is intact.