Assam Cricket Association to focus on infrastructure development: Officials

Guwahati, Dec 19 (Cricket News) The Assam Cricket Association (ACA) is concentrating on developing infrastructure at the grassroots rather than merely hosting international matches as showpiece events, its officials said on Sunday.

It is also ensuring transparency in all its financial dealings after accusations of monetary misappropriation against the apex cricketing body in the state under its former regime, they added.

Addressing a press conference at the end of its General Body Meeting here, ACA president Romen Dutta said, "We have taken a number of decisions to boost cricket infrastructure as well as increase our number of affiliations." "Final shape to the State Cricket Academy and the club to reconnect with our past players, employees and technical staff were also given at the meeting," he added.

Elaborating on the decisions, ACA secretary Devajit Saikia said, "We are looking into developing cricket infrastructure at the grassroots level and plug in shortages at all levels." "Our objective is not merely hosting international matches. The matches are events, but our focus is on strengthening our own base and producing top notch players," he said.

Saikia added that the state will gets its next major international match in October based on rotational system of allotting matches by the BCCI, though it could also be as early as next March that Guwahati gets its next international fixture.

He further said the ACA was not too enthused about hosting international matches due to uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic as these are often cancelled at the last moment or have to be played in front of empty stands.

Among the major decisions taken at Sunday's meeting is granting affiliation to Majuli, making it the ninth playing team under the ACA, Saikia said.

The constitution for the State Cricket Academy was also adopted and a committee, headed by former player Rajinder Singh, formed to take it forward, he said.

The academy will look after the professional training needs of cricketers as well as professionals associated with the sport in the state.

A residential facility with intake of 50 under the academy is also being mooted, the ACA secretary added.

The final shape to the '91 Yards' club, through which ACA will re-connect and bring together the state's ex-cricketers, staff and technical experts, was also approved at the meeting, he said.

"The ACA has already started several club and district level tournaments. We will organise a university level and an office league early next year," he added.

Asked whether alleged financial anomalies in the ACA during the term of the previous executive committee figured in the General Body Meeting, Saikia said, "There was no discussion on this issue on Sunday. We had discussed it threadbare in our last executive on August 28." "On the basis of our decisions on August 28, which was based on findings of a committee that looked into these anomalies, the ACA submitted its report to the police and they have already started taking action," he said.

Former ACA secretary Pradip Buragohain was arrested on Wednesday on allegations of misappropraition of funds during his tenure from 2016 to 2019 and is currently in police custody.

Saikia further claimed that a transparent accounting mechanism has been put in place, including making it mandatory for ACA to upload details of any transaction over Rs one lakh on its website.

"We are ensuring clean accounts to the best of our ability and if anyone finds any wrongdoing, we would request them to bring it to our notice," he added. 

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News Source : PTI


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