An under-19 cricket tournament for the Associate and Affiliate members of the BCCI is currently underway at Alur, Bangalore, the Board said. Six teams are taking part in the league-cum-knock-out tournament which is being held from September 15-21, the BCCI said in a release.
The six teams are five North Eastern States of Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Sikkim, Nagaland and Manipur, along with Bihar. The teams have been divided into two groups and the top two teams will qualify for the semifinals.
Junior national selection committee chairman Venkatesh Prasad and Rakesh Parikh are stationed at the stadium witnessing the match in order to select a combined Associate and Affiliate team. This team will further participate in Vinoo Mankad tournament in east zone.
Separate tournaments will be conducted to select combined teams for Under-16 and Under-19 to participate in Vijay Merchant Trophy (Under-16 East Zone) and Cooch Behar Trophy (Under-19 Plate Group).
All these team will have a coaching camp at National Cricket Academy in Bangalore prior to their participation in the tournaments. BCCI will appoint support staff for the teams and take care of all the expenses.
Commenting on the initiative, BCCI President Anurag Thakur said, “We at the BCCI are committed towards uplifting the Affiliate and Associate States. In a quest to do so, we are constantly working towards providing them with the right platform, facilities, exposure and opportunity, thereby paving a way for the mainstream.
“This initiative marks another step in this direction and we hope that this will ensure that the right talent meets opportunity and more number of youngsters get motivated and take up cricket as a sport.”
BCCI Secretary Ajay Shirke said, “We have organized this tournament in Bangalore, with intent to provide these budding cricketers with the best of facilities and infrastructure. We hope to host more of such tournaments with intent to inspire youth to play cricket in the affiliate and associate states. We wish all the players luck for this tournament and all their future endeavors.”