One combined affiliated team from the six North Eastern states of Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Sikkim, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh is likely to feature in the BCCI's domestic Ranji Trophy from next season (2018-19).
There is not much good news for the India's second most populous state, Bihar, whose wait for chance to play in Ranji Trophy is likely to get longer. They would only be figuring in the 6th Zone, specially created for six NE states, to play age-group tournaments along with women tournaments from ongoing 2017-18 season.
This was decided after the meeting of six NE state cricket representatives with the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (COA) here on Friday. To set the ball rolling, COA asked BCCI's GM (game development) Ratnakar Shetty to draw a road map for new teams' participation.
DNA has learnt that all these six states asked Rai to ensure that a combined team of NE, as was also suggested by Justice Lodha, should be allowed to compete from the current season but that was not accepted as the entire domestic calendar has already been released.
Rather, these states were told to clean-up cricket governance in their respective states to ensure that only "genuine local talent" should be picked in the junior teams to start with.
"They (NE states) must ensure that rejected players from other states, mostly from Delhi and Bengal, should not be allowed to play in the junior age-group cricket. BCCI has received many complaints that many overage and rejected players from other major states use bogus domiciles to play from these NE states. This needs to be tackle to develop cricket in these areas," said an insider after the meeting on Friday.
"Another concerned areas are lack of cricketing infrastructure and unfavourable weather conditions there. BCCI will certainly work closely with these NE states to help them develop the cricketing infrastructure there from now. The results at the ground would spell their future," he added.
The issue of Bihar cricket has deliberately been put on hold because it was Cricket Association of Bihar's (CAB) petition which has brought BCCI on its knees after 2013 Indian Premier League spot-fixing episode.
COA further informed that the draft for the new constitution, as directed by SC during the last hearing, has been made and will be submitted to the Apex court before the September 19 hearing.
It has also been learnt that on the question of releasing funds to some units, who have been repeatedly asking for it, COA has asked them to file an affidavit signed by their presidents that "at least 80 per cent of SC recommendations is adhered to" to be eligible for the same.
For example, Assam Cricket Association (ACA) has taken a bank loan of Rs 6 crore for the organisation of a T20 international match between Australia and India at its newly constructed stadium in Barsapara. But due to the adverse reports of financial discrepancies found in its audited accounts, BCCI has refused to release further amount to the state.
(With Inputs from DNA)