How Assam Cricket warmed up for the dream run. cricket news


assam cricket talking about india domestic cricket Circles for the past few months. However, Assam’s semi-final finish in the 2022 Vijay Hazare Trophy, which concluded earlier this month, has not been their best performance in the domestic one-day tournament. Their best finish in the meeting came nearly a decade ago, when Assam were beaten by domestic heavyweights Delhi in the coastal city of Visakhapatnam in the final of the 2012–13 season. Interestingly she was the maiden of Delhi Vijay Hazare Trophy Crown.
So what is the reason that Assam is getting so much attention these days?
They have defeated teams like Karnataka, Delhi and Vidarbha in the semi-finals of Vijay Hazare, and Maharashtra beat them by 12 runs in the semi-finals. in running Ranji TrophyThey started with a single point against Kerala, but in the second game they fought back to take a three-point first innings lead against former champions Delhi.
To a casual viewer, this might come across as an underdogs-punching-them-up-to-their-weights story. But if someone with a little more interest in domestic cricket takes a closer look, there is more than meets the eye. For that, we have to delve deep into his success story.
A little study of the final scoreboard of 2013 will bring up one name in Assam’s innings – Dheeraj Jadhav, a domestic legend from Maharashtra who was then playing for Assam as a professional. Amol Majumdar, S Sriram, Dheeraj and Sairaj Bahutule are some of the famous names who have represented Assam as professional players over the years.
But recent scoreboards of matches involving Assam will not give you any such name. Because there have been some changes in the structure and policies as far as Assam cricket is concerned.
after joining Assam Cricket Association (ACA) as Secretary in January 2019, Devjit Saikia It led the state governing body to take a decision and made some changes which are now bearing fruit. Now elected as the joint secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in October this year, Saikia elaborated on the process that he started almost four years ago.
“Immediately after taking over, we made some structural as well as policy changes. First is the change in infrastructure and facilities. When we came into the association, Assam had only two-three proper turf wickets to play first-class matches on. Now in these four years, we have taken the responsibility of 23 grounds for development and out of them 15-16 grounds are ready. Soil was brought from Odisha to prepare the track.
“Secondly, we restructured the annual calendar. Prior to this there was no proper club cricket under the ACA and the few local fixtures that were being played coincided with the BCCI’s domestic calendar. And that clash of calendars made it difficult to select the right players to represent Assam in the BCCI meetings.
“Now all 42 district units are under ACA and there is a pool of over 7000 cricketers across different age groups whose data is in the system, proper structure is now in place. APCC (Assam Premier Cricket Championship) is huge now, we give huge amount of prize money, around 1 crore in club championship and everything is under ACA,” Saikia said.
“The local calendar starts in May and runs through the summer, so a player gets at least 15-20-30 matches before potentially getting selected for the first-class and List A teams. It also helps the selectors, they are now doing their job without any interference. Earlier, they had to make selections on the basis of past performance or reputation, but now everything is streamlined, and things have been kept simple.
“The third major policy change is that we have stopped taking professionals from 2019. Earlier, we depended on professionals, but now there is no outsider in the Assam team. It is no relief for the local players that the responsibility of scoring runs or taking wickets will be taken up by professionals. You have to be responsible for your own destiny. So this semi-final finish in Vijay Hazare is a bigger achievement than the 2013 final.
When it comes to those directly involved in making these changes on the ground, Saikia is all praise for the current coaching team, especially head coach Trevor Gonsalves.
“Trevor has made a big impact on the squad. He has changed the mindset of the players, which has been a major contributor to this success. I would like to thank Assistant Coach Subhrajit Saikia, Coach-cum-Manager Salil Sinha (Senior Team) in this journey of Assam Cricket , U-25 coach Vivek Jayasimha, Ajay Ratra and Stuart Binny have to appreciate their roles.He is regarded as the man who has transformed Assam cricket in the last four years.
Ratra was in charge of the Assam senior side since 2019 before Gonsalves took charge this season. Binny was Ratra’s deputy for the 2021–22 season.
Meanwhile, Subhrajit was the head coach in the 2012–13 season and has been closely associated with the Assam cricket team in various capacities, sometimes with age-group teams in addition to the senior team.
The core of the Assam team has more or less remained the same over the years, but the same group has performed as a team to fight through tough conditions to emerge winners. So, there has to be some mental conditioning on top of a performance with bat or ball.
When it comes to boosting the mental toughness of players, former India U-19 and first-class pacer Gonsalves has definitely played a major role.
“I always tell my wards that a person’s character can be known when he is down and out; Not when you’re going great guns. You have to do something extraordinary to be famous. People will watch your performance only when it is against Delhi or Mumbai or Punjab or Karnataka. It should be against the big names of domestic cricket, whoever is playing for them.
He said, ‘I have made it clear to him not to make your Vijay Hazare performance a joke. Play the ball to its potential, if you want to hit it, hit it for fours or sixes, if you want to defend it, defend it. Don’t think that you are playing Ranji Trophy or Vijay Hazare or T20. Failure makes you, so don’t be afraid, be confident,” explained the former Vidarbha coach.
Gonsalves gave a piece of his mind by declaring against Delhi soon after taking the first innings lead. “Yeah, it was a mind game. You have an advantage when your opponents think, ‘Look, he has announced against Delhi!’ You get the lead by declaring the innings, upper hand here,” Gonsalves said with a laugh after the Delhi match.
With their efforts showing results, Assam look to reach higher this season but a bigger dream remains to be realised.
A cricketer from Assam yet to wear the India colors at the senior level, Saikia, former secretary of the ACA and the chief architect of this recent success, says, “We have the full support of BCCI secretary Jay Shah, who played a key role in Assam’s success. has played a big role. The board offered all possible help. However, our dream is to see a player from Assam in the senior Indian team at the earliest. There are three-four notable performers – you could say Riyan Parag is the frontrunner, the others being Rishav Das (batsman), Mukhtar Hussain (left-arm medium pacer) and Razzaquddin Ahmed (all-rounder). Although Razzaquddin is now out of the team due to recent poor performances, everyone has made good progress.”


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