Sikkim to own a standard cricket stadium by March 2020; first in the NE

In good news for cricketing enthusiasts, students and fans of the sport, the construction of the first phase of the new Mining Cricket ground which began in March this year, is set to be completed in March 2020, with the pitches slated to be ready by February of the same year. “The construction began in […] The post Sikkim to own a standard cricket stadium by March 2020; first in the NE appeared first on The Sikkim Chronicle - Sikkim News.

Sikkim to own a standard cricket stadium by March 2020; first in the NE

In good news for cricketing enthusiasts, students and fans of the sport, the construction of the first phase of the new Mining Cricket ground which began in March this year, is set to be completed in March 2020, with the pitches slated to be ready by February of the same year.

“The construction began in March this year and the first phase of the ground construction – the playing area, drainage system, practice pitch and playing area fencing is to be made is set to be completed in March 2020. Due to the monsoon, the pitch soil from Assam got delayed and there is a slight delay in completion of the first phase”, informs Roshan Prasad, Sikkim Cricket Association (SCA) in-charge and spokesperson.

The ground was leased to SCA way back in 2002 for 20 years. In 2016, the new executive body under President, Lobzang G. Tenzing, started to plan and prepare for developing the ground, but the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) rules say that funding can be done only if there is a long term lease of the ground. Therefore, in 2018, on the request of SCA, the government Sikkim renewed the ground lease for the next 33 years.
For the project, Prasad informs that the BCCI had sanctioned approx. 2 crores for the first phase and that the construction of the ground is directly sanctioned and monitored by the BCCI and given to the agency who is the required expert in making cricket grounds.

The playing area of the Mining Cricket ground is as per the ICC Test Match standard playing area. A total of 9 pitches where BCCI matches will be played, 8 practice pitches where both the home teams and visiting teams will practice during the tournaments and in the off-season, players from Sikkim will train at. The Mining Cricket ground will have all the facilities that a standard cricket stadium should have as per the guidance of the ICC. The pitches are meant for all the BCCI matches of all formats (Multi-Days, One Day and Twenty20) and tournaments hosted by SCA.

Currently, the players have to go all the way to Bhubaneshwar, Odisha, to practice at KIT.
“To keep from falling out of touch, some of them practice at Paljor Stadium, since there are no proper areas to train at,” says Prasad. “Tournaments have already started and we needed good infrastructure for the best results from players because they have the potential to play at a national level. Even BCCI coaches believe that our players have what it takes and with time will get even better”, he adds.

Through continuous efforts to set up a good environment for cricketing, the SCA has managed to make Sikkim the first from all the Northeastern states to be funded and have the project started early.

Cricket fever may have arrived late in Sikkim, but it is here to stay. Prasad mentions that the interest in the sport is fast-growing, with even parents encouraging their children to learn it. There are over 400 registered players in Sikkim, most of whom come from the east district. “The reason behind that is, even though cricket was not an actively played sport in the state, small tournaments kept happening in the east district”, he tells.

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