With the Board of Control for Cricket in India(BCCI) finally granting the status permission of participation in the domestic set-up to Arunachal Pradesh, Bihar, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Puducherry, Sikkim and Uttarakhand, Saba Karim, General Manager Cricket Operations, has said that it is the T20 format which is best suited for the introduction of these nine new teams.
Even though there is a separate plate group made for these teams in their inaugural Ranji Trophy season, the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament schedule sees Mumbai opening their fixtures list with a game against Sikkim on February 21, 2019, and Delhi plays Manipur the very next day.
These encounters might come across as complete mismatch but Saba Karim disagrees.
He was quoted saying, “We thought it out and believe that T20 is the best format to introduce them to the big league. Any team can cause an upset in T20 cricket and that is why the new teams have been pitted against the big boys in this format. If you see, the Ranji Trophy format has the plate division for this very reason,”
“Some of the new teams like Bihar, Uttarakhand and Puducherry have been preparing very well and I am hopeful that they will do well." and reiterated, "They shouldn’t be taken lightly. The North Eastern states also have some very fit boys. Yes, the skill part is being developed but you need to start somewhere. We need to give them chance expecting that they will become competitive,”
The former Indian wicketkeeper further said that the board is providing all the support to these new teams in the form of not just the grounds but backend staff too, with the coaches and physios been granted contracts for a season.
“Each new state is being provided four administrative staff comprising one to take care of finances, one for cricket operations and two for logistics. Along with this, four groundstaff — including one head curator, one maintenance manager and two assistant curators (BCCI accreditated) — will be provided." he revealed and added, “The states have been provided with six coaches, six physios and six trainers for their age-group teams as well as women’s team. It’s a one season tripartite agreement between the individual, state association and BCCI,”
Here's a list of coaches that the board has employed for the new teams:-
Meghalaya: Senior Men: Sanath Kumar; U-23: Dhiraj Jadhav
Bihar: Senior Men: Subroto Banerjee; U-23: Ajay Ratra
Nagaland: Senior Men: Kanwaljeet Singh
Sikkim: Senior Men: Sanjeev Sharma U-23: PV Shashikanth
Uttarakhand: Senior Men: KP Bhaskar
Arunachal Pradesh: Gursharan Singh
Mizoram: Senior Men: Ashok Malhotra; U-23: Shib Shankar Paul
Puducherry: Senior Men: Aavishkar Salvi.
(Inputs from Hindustan Times)