Aizawl, May 23 UNI | 2 months ago

The tireless efforts of Mizoram Cricket Association (CAM) have finally 'batted' out a world-class cricket stadium in the football-crazy Mizoram.

Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla, who heads the CAM, was ecstatic to inaugurate the state's first cricket stadium named Suaka Cricket Stadium at Sihmui on the western fringes of the city.

Lal Thanhawla thanked the enthusiasm and hard work of the cricket association and the generosity of F Lalrotluanga, who had donated a large plot of land for stadium.

The CAM president announced that the stadium will be called Suaka Cricket Stadium, in memory of the late father of the land donor.

With the completion of the cricket stadium, CAM's affiliation to the BCCI would be approved soon as BCCI affiliation requires having a full-fledged stadium.

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.

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.

Sports Minister Zodintluanga, who graced the function as guest of honour, said today was a historic day for Mizoram ports. ' The government's vision to tap sports talents in Mizoram has materialised,' he said.

Local MLA, K Sangthuama, of the opposition Mizo National Front, also attended the inaugural function. He expressed joy that Mizoram now has a stadium for the most popular game in the country.

The CAM, under the aegis of Mizoram State Sports Council, began works on the stadium in June 2005. A total of 1106.03 lakhs - including Rs 995.43 lakhs from non-lapsable central pool of resources (NLCPR) and Rs 110.60 lakhs from state fund - was received for the project.

The ground is 150 metre diameter with 22mx20m eight-lane pitch. There are four specatator galleries to accommodate about 800 people.

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.

There are presently 14 full member clubs under the CAM.

(Posted on 24-05-2014)