Hitting the ground running
The abundance of league and junior cricket in Puducherry has gone a long way in ensuring that the Union Territory is one of the strongest new teams.
Puducherry has pulled off a big upset much before India’s premier domestic cricket tournament even begins. The team shocked 41time Ranji Trophy champion Mumbai in the semifinals of the Sir Vizzy Trophy, held in Vizianagaram in Andhra Pradesh in late August and early September. But then again, the Union Territory — with districts spread across three states Tamil Nadu (Puducherry, Karaikal), Andhra Pradesh (Yanam) and Kerala (Mahe) — has more than 60 clubs and academies participating in league cricket. That is ample ammunition to begin its maiden domestic campaign.
“...apart from the fact that we did well in the Vizzy Trophy, one more huge motivating factor is that if we manage to top the Plate division, we get to play the bigwigs in the Elite Group C category next year. That is our target,” said head coach Aavishkar Salvi. “We need to prove that we belong to the big stage and we are taking steps in the right direction. Although getting promoted is the ultimate goal, we are keen on performing well in the first season.”
The abundance of league and junior cricket in Puducherry has gone a long way in ensuring that the Union Territory is one of the strongest new teams — which will play in the Plate division, the lower rung of the Ranji Trophy — this season. Puducherry district has about 35 clubs and academies, Karaikal has 20, and Yanam and Mahe have 10 each.
“We organise a lot of interschool and intercollege competitions. Apart from that, we also have a rural development scheme where we conduct grassroots training programmes and enable the players to
A chance to shine: The Puducherry team will play its home games at the Siechem Cricket Ground.