|Dimapur (Nagaland), May 27 (ANI): Keen to boost cricket as a sport in Nagaland, the state government has built a stadium to promote the game.
The new Sovina Cricket Stadium in Dimapur recently hosted a match between the Under-16 Dimapur District Team and the Sovima Youth Cricket Club.
The Sovina Cricket Stadium is the first stadium in Nagaland and the second in the entire North Eastern region.
Athasie Angami, the head coach of the Nagaland Cricket Academy, said: “We are happy that finally our stadium is ready. I believe that cricket is going to go a long way because now we have good facilities.”
Cricketer Vikas Kumar said: “Earlier, we did not have a ground in Nagaland, so we had to go to other place like Guwahati for playing and coaching. But now we have academy here. It is a great opportunity for youngsters.”
Players from different clubs and zones in Nagaland are now practicing and preparing for bigger challenges ahead at the stadium that was constructed at a cost of Rs.10.33 crores.
The stadium took nearly eight months to build and functions under the aegis of Nagaland Cricket Academy and Board of Cricket Control of India.
It has six masts each 40 meters high to support floodlights.
The stadium has all kinds of facilities for visitors and players.
Mohamadh Zahubuddin, another cricketer from Nagaland said: “Now, onward we can practice and learn without having any problems. We are privileged to get this stadium and hope that we will learn more and improves a lot.”
A. Rehman, Secretary, Nagaland Cricket Academy, said: “Now, our boys will not have to go out from Nagaland to practice. They can learn here and we will be able to better quality players from here. And hopefully more and more Naga boys will come out with flying colors in the field of cricket.”
The first cricket stadium of Northeast was built in Guwahati and the first international match took place in 1983 between India and the West Indies.
Northeast has always been a hub for sports and cricket is slowly gaining popularity.
Abu Nechim Ahmed, 23, from Guwahati is a promising fast bowler from Assam who has impressed with his performance in various tournaments.
Youth from the region have now started thinking about cricket as a full time career. (ANI)