Aizawl, May 2 UNI | 3 months ago

A decade ago, very few Mizos could spell out the difference between a batsman and a bowler, or what makes a ODI thrilling than a Test match.

Now, the football-crazy Mizoram is gradually tilting towards the nation's number one game cricket, thanks to the tireless efforts of the Cricket Association of Mizoram (CAM) led by sports-loving Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla.

Chairing a general body meeting of CAM at Aijal Club here today, Lal Thanhawla lauded the efforts of the association in promoting cricket in Mizoram. "Thanks to the association's efforts, Mizoram has its first world class cricket stadium - Suaka Memorial Cricket Stadium," he said, and thanked again Rotluanga Fanai for donating the land for the stadium.

Lal Thanhawla believed that cricket is the right game for Mizo boys who were good at throwing stone and catching. "I strongly believe that Mizo boys can play cricket as well as football. This game should be popularized in Mizoram since it is also the game that makes the biggest money in our country," Lal Thanhawla said, and thanked the CAM for popularising the game among the young boys.

A large plot of land at Sihhmui near here was donated by Rotluanga, a prominent citizen of Vaivakawn locality in Aizawl, for the cricket stadium in memory of his late father Suaka.

The CAM began its work on June 23, 2005 and has now transformed it into a world class cricket stadium. The association received Rs 11.20 crore from DoNER ministry for construction of the stadium.

The CAM has been giving cricket coaching to over 100 kids below 14 years of age at Durtlang since 2008, before the sports minister launched his Catch Them Young policy.

The CAM was formed by some cricket enthusiasts in Mizoram a few years back. The association is yet to be affiliated to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). It had been striving hard to get the BCCI's affiliation but to no avail till date, it was learnt. With the chief minister heading the association, it hopes to get the much sought-after affiliation soon. Lal Thanhawla said he had vigorously pursued the affiliation with the BCCI. The BCCI general meeting had also approved the application and only the affiliation committee's nod was awaited when internal crisis dragged the board to the Supreme Court.

"The BCCI's affiliation will go a long way in promoting and developing the game in Mizoram where a majority of young boys are crazy after football," a source in the association said.

There are presently 14 full member clubs under the CAM.

(Posted on 02-05-2014)