A glare at the outfield of Satindra Mohan Dev Stadium in Silchar will remind people of the international cricket grounds. The outfield, pitches, and practice pitches look like never before. This year has been unprecedented. The outbreak of a global pandemic has brought the world to a standstill. Sporting events got disrupted, many tournaments got canceled.
District Sports Association’s Football season also suffered due to the pandemic. But that has turned out to be a blessing in disguise for the groundsmen and pitch curators. Due to the football season, the studs used to make holes in the ground and in some places it used to get uneven. The multi-sport ground used to suffer a lot of wear and tear which the staff had to mend before the cricket season began in the winter season.
For many years, Ram Behra has been in charge of pitch and outfield as the curator. However, this year, he had gone back to Odisha for vacation and got stuck due to the lockdowns. Under such circumstances, Secretary Bijendra Prasad Singh asked former Ground chief Chandan Sharma to look after the outfield and curate the pitch. Ram Behra later joined Sharma and together they have dolled out a field that looks premium. The entire process was conducted under the supervision of the current ground secretary, Niloy Paul.
Sources in DSA have informed that two pitches are ready but to test how they behave, the administration has organised a practice match on November 19. For the upcoming season, a total of eight pitches have been prepared. Along with it, two practice pitches have been kept ready for the players to practice. In fact, after nine-month of hiatus, the players enrolled in the academy will start practicing from tomorrow.
On the other hand, Silchar DSA’s cricket secretary, Niranjan Das informed Barak Bulletin that the cricket season will kickstart on November 20. “This time the season will begin with ‘B’ division matches,” added Das.
Though it was speculated that the season will begin with Super Division which is the top league under Silchar DSA, it has come to fore that many A division and Super Division clubs are waiting for inter-district clearance to fill gaps in their team. India Club, United Club of Super Division and Tarapur AC of first division have all applied for interdistrict transfers.
Das informed that yesterday a letter was issued by Assam Cricket Association and it has been instructed to all the clubs that they can proceed with inter-district transfers. “The deadline for the same is November 30,” informed the cricket secretary. “As we feel the transfer process will take time, we are starting the season with B division.”
This year, 24 teams will participate in B division cricket. “Super Division will begin next month,” said Das.