Thursday, Sep 08, 2022 08:45 [IST]

Last Update: Thursday, Sep 08, 2022 03:07 [IST]

In a first, Sikkim to host Ranji matches

SAMIR NUGO

GANGTOK,:  Sikkim will be hosting Ranji Trophy matches at home for the first time when they welcome three teams to the hill State in the forthcoming Indian domestic season.

Sikkim Cricket Association has previously hosted First Class matches, at adopted home venues, and to be able to bring the biggest domestic tournament in India home is a historic and hugely significant step forward for cricket in Sikkim.

SICA president Lobzang G. Tenzing stated, “To host First Class matches is no mean feat for a State association which got full membership just four years back.”

He thanked Board of Control for Cricket in India for trusting SICA with “such huge responsibility” and assured to be a perfect host. 

The BCCI’s decision to allow Sikkim to host three of its Ranji Trophy matches at home will certainly play a game changer in the promotion of cricket in the State.

Sikkim will play against Manipur, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh at SICA ground, at Mining. The venues for the remaining Plate Group matches, against Meghalaya and Bihar, are yet to be announced.    

Along with Ranji Trophy matches, Sikkim will also play two Cooch Behar Trophy matches and three Col CK Nayudu Trophy matches at Mining.

The Cooch Behar Trophy match on November 12, against Assam, will be the first major domestic match to be held in Sikkim which earned full membership of BCCI in 2018. 

After two back-to-back multi-day men’s under-19 matches, cricket fans in the State will get to enjoy a Ranji Trophy match in Sikkim for the first time on December 13 when senior men’s team take on Manipur in the 2022-23 Ranji Trophy opener.

Sikkim along with eight new States made its way into Ranji Trophy and other premier domestic cricket tournaments in 2018 however due to lack of ground Sikkim had been playing at neutral venues.

The development of Mining ground into a venue worthy of hosting standard cricket tournaments, few years back, had kindled SICA’s hopes of holding Ranji Trophy matches. But, at that juncture, Covid-19 struck and BCCI decided to hold matches in select venues to ensure bio-secure environment when the truncated domestic cricket returned the following year.

Now that the BCCI has been gracious enough to allow SICA to host BCCI-approved matches in Sikkim, the State cricket body has already started preparations to ensure that the matches are conducted here smoothly.

More than 1,500 games will take place in the forthcoming season as India will witness a full-fledged domestic season for the first time since Covid pandemic.       

Sikkim at a Glance

  • Area: 7096 Sq Kms
  • Capital: Gangtok
  • Altitude: 5,840 ft
  • Population: 6.10 Lakhs
  • Topography: Hilly terrain elevation from 600 to over 28,509 ft above sea level
  • Climate:
  • Summer: Min- 13°C - Max 21°C
  • Winter: Min- 0.48°C - Max 13°C
  • Rainfall: 325 cms per annum
  • Language Spoken: Nepali, Bhutia, Lepcha, Tibetan, English, Hindi