The pool­ing to­gether of ideas

Sportstar - - GROUND REPORT UTTARAKHAND - AB­HISHEK MUKHER­JEE

The am­bi­gu­ity sur­round­ing or­gan­ised cricket in Ut­tarak­hand sig­ni­fies its sta­tus as one of the coun­try’s cricketing back­wa­ters. But what could be the cat­a­lyst for rapid and per­ma­nent changes is suc­cess in the Ranji Tro­phy.

Over­look­ing the thick fo­liage on a down­ward slope of the un­du­lat­ing ter­rain of Gu­nial­gaon, on the out­skirts of Dehradun, the quaint Ab­hi­manyu Cricket Academy looks serene in the milder climes of the hills. The hor­i­zon­tally spread brick­coloured build­ing isn’t out of place amid the quiet­ness around — the quiet in­ter­rupted from time to time by softly chirp­ing birds. Be­tray­ing this at­mos­phere, how­ever, is a pal­pa­ble buzz around the in­sti­tute — grounds­men are hard at work and of­fi­cials with Ut­tarak­hand Cricket Con­sen­sus Com­mit­tee (UCCC) iden­tity cards are mov­ing about busily and con­gre­gat­ing at the of­fice lo­cated at one end of the main build­ing.

The di­rec­tor of the fa­cil­ity, R. P. Easwaran, is im­pa­tient and stretched as he tries to ful­fil his obli­ga­tions to Ut­tarak­hand cricket in the lead­up to the ker­nel of the do­mes­tic sea­son — the Ranji Tro­phy. As one of the two com­pre­hen­sive and state­of­theart cricketing fa­cil­i­ties in the state, his academy, although pri­vate, as­sumes im­por­tance as the re­gion gears up to en­ter a new era.

The state of af­fairs

With no of­fi­cial cricket as­so­ci­a­tion, un­like most other states in the coun­try, Easwaran and his academy are as­signed the task of over­see­ing the Ranji Tro­phy se­lec­tion tri­als for Ut­tarak­hand. The Na­tional

AB­HISHEK MUKHER­JEE

Match du­ties: The Ra­jiv Gandhi In­ter­na­tional Sta­dium seems idle for now, but IL&FS, which runs the fa­cil­i­ties, claims it will host about 35 matches dur­ing the Ranji Tro­phy.

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