Sikkim to host Ranji matches for the very first time
Mining Cricket Ground near Rangpo

GANGTOK: Sikkim will host Ranji trophy matches for the first time in December. The state will welcome three northeast teams: Mizoram, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh, at the Mining Cricket Ground near Rangpo. 

Sikkim has previously hosted first-class matches at adopted home venues in other states, while the state team has also played Ranji matches at neutral venues.

Sikkim Cricket Association (SCA) president Lobzang G. Tenzing stated, “To host first-class matches is no mean feat for a state association that got full membership just four years ago.”

He thanked the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for trusting the SCA with “such a huge responsibility” and assured to be a perfect host.

The BCCI’s decision to allow Sikkim to host three of its Ranji matches at home will act as a game-changer in cricket’s promotion in Sikkim, he added.

The venues for the remaining Plate Group matches against Meghalaya and Bihar are yet to be announced.

Along with Ranji Trophy matches, Sikkim will also play two Cooch Behar Trophy matches, and three Col CK Nayudu Trophy matches at Mining.

The Cooch Behar Trophy match on November 12 against Assam will be the first major domestic match in Sikkim.

After two back-to-back multi-day men’s under-19 matches, cricket fans in the state will enjoy a Ranji Trophy match in Sikkim for the first time on December 13, when the senior men’s team take on Manipur in the 2022-23 Ranji Trophy opener.

Sikkim and eight new states made its way into Ranji Trophy and other premier domestic cricket tournaments in 2018. However, due to the lack of a cricket ground, Sikkim had been playing at neutral venues.

The development of Mining ground into a venue worthy of hosting standard cricket tournaments had kindled SCA’s hopes of holding Ranji matches. But then Covid-19 struck, and the BCCI decided to hold matches in select venues to ensure a bio-secure environment when domestic cricket returned the following year.

The state cricket body has already started preparations to ensure that the matches are conducted here smoothly.

More than 1,500 games will take place in the forthcoming season as India will witness a full-fledged domestic season for the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic.

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