They too are a cricket tribe

Sportstar - - GROUND REPORT NAGALAND - WRIDDHAAYAN BHAT­TACHARYYA

want to meet all of you in the lobby af­ter

Make sure ev­ery­one is present.” The pow­er­ful voice of P. Ben­dang Jamir, one of the vice­pres­i­dents of the Na­ga­land Cricket As­so­ci­a­tion, seemed to shake the glass doors.

The only other sound at the Sovima cricket ground — of­fi­cially the Na­ga­land Cricket As­so­ci­a­tion Sta­dium, lo­cated at a two­hour drive from the hills in no man’s land — is that of wil­low hit­ting leather. Heavy show­ers and the sub­se­quent floods had wiped out the state team’s train­ing ses­ sions, and the crick­eters were set to leave by an evening train for Guwahati for prac­tice matches.

Jamir, the taskmas­ter, greets his play­ers. He is not just an NCA vice­pres­i­dent; he is also coach and selec­tor. Be­ing 65 — and with a knee prob­lem — has not stopped him from men­tor­ing the play­ers on the field and then es­cort­ing the guests up the stairs to the top floor of the as­so­ci­a­tion’s build­ing for a bird’s eye view of the cricket ground in Dima­pur.

“Peo­ple still have a mis­con­cep­tion that

WRIDDHAAYAN BHAT­TACHARYYA

Far flung: The Sovima cricket ground is lo­cated at a two­hour drive from the hills in no man’s land.

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