The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is likely to approve of the idea of fielding a combined unit for the five North-Eastern States — Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Sikkim, and Nagaland — under its New Area Development Programme (NADP), later this month.
“We are now expecting a ratification once the BCCI working committee meets later in May for a final approval,” Naba Bhattacharjee, the convener of Bihar and North-East Zone and coordinator of the NADP committee, told Sportstar.
The BCCI technical committee under the leadership of Sourav Ganguly had sought suggestions from the North-East states on how to assimilate them in the domestic cricket scene.
Bhattacharjee said, “I had joined the meeting via video conferencing. We clarified the committee that the five States should be allowed to play as a combined unit at least for the next couple of years. We also suggested that Bihar be left out of the North-East, since it has already been granted Ranji Trophy status.”
Sources in the BCCI confirmed to Sportstar that the proposal of having a combined North-East team had been agreed, “The technical committee has assessed all the possibilities and the recommendation has been forwarded to the working committee, and it is up to them to take a final call.”
“We have proper facilities in Manipur, Meghalaya, and Nagaland, so that will not be a problem. We have already initiated the process of getting the grounds ready for the season,” Bhattacharjee said.
The Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA), after a meeting with the North-Eastern states last year, had started talks for their participation and BCCI had started a state-wise participation for the North-Eastern states and Bihar in the women’s and age-group categories.