Gangtok, 22 Jul:
The BCCI has approved the long-pending demand of the Sikkim Cricket Association and cricket lovers of the State seeking representation of Sikkim in national level cricketing events like the prestigious Ranji Trophy.
"Sikkim can now be represented in 14 national level cricketing events in the country," informed Sonam Palden Bhutia, the SCA general secretary, while addressing a press conference here today.
He also thanked the Chief Minister for his consistent support to development of sports in the State.
This approval from BCCI, he underlined, was a proud moment for sports in Sikkim.
With regards to the Mining Ground, he stated that the ground can upgraded further and international level stadium is now possible in Sikkim.
"BCCI has started providing us with directions," he shared.
He further informed that Rs 2 crore will be provided by BCCI towards the stadium project, and in consultation with the State government, work will be taken forward to take the Mining ground to another level.
"Cricket tourism can be encouraged in Sikkim on the lines of the Dharamsala stadium," he said.
He further commented that with the Pakyong Airport scheduled to come on line soon and with quality hotels coming up in the area, all the criteria required to host international cricket matches will be met by Sikkim with the Mining Ground being developed.
The crucial 70 yards from the centre of the ground criteria is also fulfilled, it was further informed.
The members of the association also stated that the unemployment issue of the state can also be addressed to some extent with logistics that entail for a national representing team.
"The opportunities are huge and it requires support from all quarters. We are preparing the action plan," he said.
They also expressed hope that the state government will increase the lease period of the ground which is slated to expire in 2022.
Availability of more grounds was also requested by the members.
When asked about the cricketing stars of Sikkim, the members pointed out that Sikkim has many cricketing heroes including Amos Rai, Anwesh Kumar Sharma and also good female cricketers like Noor Pandi and Songkit Lepcha.
Further when the media asked about corruption cases that frequently appear in media with regards to cricketing associations, the members stated that BCCI now has strict guidelines and an anti corruption unit with clear and systematic transfer of money.
A Rs 5 crore DPR has also been prepared for Mining ground, it was informed.
The press conference was attended by Nayan Tshering Bhutia, Joint Secretary, Rinzing Namgyal, Joint Secretary, Gopal Sharma, Vice President and Prakash Lama,President, East district.