Guwahati, Saturday, June 22, 2019
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ACA to focus on grassroots level
Kausav Baruah

Devajit Saikia
 GUWAHATI, June 21 - In a bid to promote cricket at the grassroots level, the Assam Cricket Association (ACA) is looking forward to organise inter-school and inter-college cricket tournaments in an organised way.

After having organised the cash-rich Assam Premier Club Championship earlier this year, the association is looking forward to organising inter-school and inter-college tournaments as well as streamlining the coaching centres in the State, revealed ACA secretary Devajit Saikia.

“We have certain things in mind as of now. One is school cricket while the other is college cricket but we also have plans to streamline the coaching centres in the State. Inter college cricket up to an extent has started but for school cricket we will need another seven to eight months,” Saikia said.

At a time when cricket coaching centres are a common sight around the State, the sport governing body is likely to introduce some strict measures in order to develop the game at the grassroots level.

“There has been mushroom growth of coaching centres but we are completely unaware whether qualified coaches are providing training or the kind of training that the players are undergoing. The ACA will have a monitoring team which will give accreditation to the coaching centres. Those coaching centres which will not be accredited will not be able to send players for taking part in inter-district tournaments. There will be a strict protocol which will need to be followed and those who manage to do it will definitely get all the required assistance from the ACA.”

Although the initiative to organise the Assam Premier Club Championship was much appreciated by the cricket enthusiasts of the State, but there were certain issues which often raised eyebrows – especially the standard of umpiring.

“There are several components in cricket today. Not only the players but there are others too who are engaged in the game. Curators, scorers, umpires and infrastructure are an integral part if a team needs to do well. Our first priority is to provide adequate match practice as our players don’t get enough match time. So we have already started with the Assam Premier Club Championship.

“We have organised workshops for curators as well as scorers. We will also organise workshops for umpires so that the standard improves. With time things will definitely improve,” he opined.

Altogether 320 clubs including 6700 players from different parts of the State participated in the inaugural edition of the Assam Premier Club Championship this year.

Asked regarding the absence of proper cricket grounds in Assam, Saikia said: “We cannot create proper cricket grounds in one day. So we have already started the process with the already existing grounds being used to organise matches. Some grounds where the pitches were not good, we have provided matting wickets.

“We are also having talks with certain schools and colleges regarding grounds. Very soon there will be around six to seven grounds in and around Guwahati. We will have to build quality grounds if the standard of cricket needs to improve. There should be at least 15 good quality grounds in Assam.”

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