BCCI to bear all expenses of North Eastern states’ Ranji debut

New Delhi : The BCCI will bear the entire cost of the cash-strapped North Eastern states’ Ranji Trophy debut, which has been mandated by the Supreme Court-appointed Lodha Committee, a couple of whom will play their home games at neutral venues due to lack of infrastructure.

It has been reliably learnt that Sikkim and Arunachal do not have grounds, will play at neutral venues in neighbouring states. The BCCI will be providing all the six states with their accreditated NCA coaches, physios and trainers (men’s, boys age group, women, girls’ age group).

“BCCI has assured that all the state teams will be provided with coaches. The entire expenses will be borne by the board”

Normally the BCCI units pay for their support staff but for NE states, the parent body will make an exception. “BCCI has assured that all the state teams will be provided with coaches. We will have to submit our requirements and accordingly they will depute the support staff. The entire expenses will be borne by the board,” a representative of the North Eastern state said on conditions of anonymity.

“We will not be paid any grant directly. We need to submit the budget clearly mentioning all the overheads and BCCI directly makes the payments. It is difficult to pinpoint a figure but anything in the range of 4-5 crore needs to be spent per state. Infrastructure and logistics are two key issues,” he added.

The representatives of the North Eastern states met the BCCI’s Cricket Operations team headed by Saba Karim at the headquarters in Mumbai on Wednesday.

“There will be a few matches between the NE states, where teams need to be travelling by train as there are no direct air route. The railway bookings need to be done accordingly,” he said.

Another key issue discussed was about the criteria of domicile for all those who want to use the opportunity to get first-class matches under their belt. “Rules are clear. One needs to show birth certificate, at least two years of employment in those new states, bank account in those states. While three professional players will be allowed (common BCCI rule), we were advised that we should groom our own players, which is a fair call.”

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