BRIEF HISTORY OF CRICKET ASSOCIATION OF MIZORAM
The Cricket Association of Mizoram (CAM) was established in the year 1992. But Cricket was played in Mizoram from the 70’s. During that time it was managed by the Club’s. The Government officials who came from outside used to play among themselves in the Assam Rifles ground on Sundays. There used to be Team from Vijaya Bank, CRPF and Assam Rifles. I had the opportunity to represent the Mizoram Team at a very young age in 1984 against the DSA Team Silchar. The Silchar District Team also came to play here in Aizawl. I started playing from 1983 when I was in Class-VII and formed a Club namely Alfa Young Cricket Club with my school mates. At that time, only one Cricket Club, the Aizawl Cricket Club was there. Most of the members were Govt. officials in this Club. There was a Central School Cricket Team and we used to organize matches with them on Sundays in Assam Rifles ground, the Brigade ground and sometimes in Zemabawk ground. Then another Club was formed namely the United Cricket Club and then the Eagle Sporting Club. I remember we used to organize tournament among the Clubs and Central School Team. Mention may be made that those days our local boys were not interested in Cricket, only some started playing in the UCC team and then the Romanov Cricket Club was formed. I am very happy to say that among the 30 Affiliated Clubs under Cricket Association of Mizoram, 29 Clubs are represented by our local Mizo boys. This is an achievement for CAM.
The members of the different Club’s and Sports Department held a meeting in the Chamber of the Director of Sports & Youth Services during the month of January 1992 and it was decided to form an Association to look after Cricket matters in the State. Thus, the Mizoram Cricket Association was formed. An ad-hoc committee was formed for drafting the constitution and other rules and regulations. I was fortunate to be a member of that committee with Pu C. Nag being the Chairman and Dr KN Sharma being the Secretary. The same was done and on the day of approval of the Constitution in the Mizoram State Sports Council Office at Tuikual, Aizawl, the name of the Association was changed to Cricket Association of Mizoram (CAM). It is an honour for me that my proposal for the name change was accepted by the Committee. Then the General Body meeting was called, I don’t remember the dates exactly. The first committee was formed and Pu Joe Lalhmingliana, the Director Sports & Youth Affairs Department was elected as the first President of the Cricket Association of Mizoram.
List of First Office Bearer’s of Cricket Association of Mizoram.
1. President – Shri J. Lalhmingliana
2. Vice President – Shri C.Nag, IAS
3. Vice President – Shri A.K Das
4. Secretary – Dr K.N Sharma
5. Asst. Secy – Mr. Mamon Majumdar
6. Asst. Secy – Mr. Michael Zothana
7. Treasurer – Shri R.K. Sinha
Along with this, the sub-committees were also formed. The first decision of the Cricket Association of Mizoram was to organize an Inter-Departmental Cricket Tournament to popularize the game. An organizing committee was formed for the Tournament. The tournament was held with the support of the State Government. We sent invite to all the departments and around 20 Departments participated along with Educational Institutions. The tournament was quite successful and very important as it popularized the game of Cricket among the people. There were four Clubs when the Cricket Association of Mizoram was formed but clubs increased after this Tournament. The Finals was played between Sports & Youth Services department and the Pachhunga University College. I was fortunate to be the Captain of the Pachhunga University College Team. We were the Champions. Our President, Shri Lal Thanhawla, the then Chief Minister, Mizoram was the Chief Guest in the finals and gave away the prizes. We had lot of audience also.
Now there are 30 Clubs affiliated to the Cricket Association of Mizoram (CAM). The Clubs are divided into 1st Divn., 2nd Divn. and 3rd Divn. All the 1st Divn. Clubs have Under-19, Under-16 and Under-14 Teams. The Cricket Association of Mizoram is organizing the following Tournaments in a season – the President’s Cup followed by the 1st Divn. Mahuma Memorial and 2nd Divn. Khaled Memorial Cricket Tournaments, the Under-19, 16 and 14 Tournament’s, the Mapuia Cricket League (MCL) and the Inter Village YMA Cricket Tournament. The Inter College and Inter School Cricket Tournament’s are also organized. We are the first Association in the Country to organize an IPL type of tournament that is the MCL. We auction team and players for the MCL live on our Local TV. This has become a very successful tournament for us and most Cash rich.
The Cricket Association of Mizoram received Rs. 15000/- from the Mizoram State Sports Council(MSSC) after its inception in 1992, being registered Association under them. The CAM used to organize Tournaments with this amount and other funds collected from Cricket Lovers. There was lot of changes in the organizing of Tournaments and other activities from 1998. I would like to mention that, Shri Lalrochuanga Pachuau became the President and he brought lot of changes and in this period Cricket was promoted a lot among the youths. The Inter Branch YMA Cricket tournament, which is the largest tournament in terms of participation was started during this period. Shri Lalrochuanga Pachuau and Shri Chawngroliana have been the longest serving President and Secretary of CAM. Their services for Mizoram Cricket is commendable.
The MSSC is providing Rs. 6,22,000/- at present to the CAM. The expenditure for organizing Tournament’s and maintenance of the Ground, Tour to other States, Coaching, Umpiring Clinics etc. during one season is around Rs. 20,00,000/- (Twenty lakhs) approximately. The deficit fund is collected from Office Bearer’s, Member’s, Sponsor’s in order to complete the activities in the Calendar. The main source is our President, Pu Lal Thanhawla the Chief Minister of Mizoram. He has been helping us with all his might and because of that only we are able to continue running the game here.
The Govt. of Mizoram after several request from the Cricket Association of Mizoram have constructed a stadium exclusively for Cricket in Sihhmui, Aizawl for which an amount of 11.16 Crore was sanctioned by the Ministry of DONER’S, Govt. of India. Mention may be made that the land for the Stadium was donated by a Cricket lover and our former Advisor Shri Rotluanga Fanai (L).The Stadium has been handed over to the Cricket Association of Mizoram by the MSSC on 23rd May’2014. We had to made walls and gate for protecting our stadium after taking over. The approach road to stadium from the highway was also also taken up and completed by Public Works Department, Govt. of Mizoram. This was done because of our President and Chief Minister, Mizoram Shri Lal Thanhawla. On his instructions, the PHE Department also put water Connection line and the Power & Electricity Department has given Electrical Connection to the Stadium. In addition to all this, he has been helping us with cash whenever we are in dire streets.
We also need further expansion of facilities in the stadium which are very important in bringing out the talents in our boys. We need a Hostel Building, Indoor Practice Facilities, Swimming Pool/ Gymnasium and facelift to the present Pavilion and Gallery, Equipments for ground maintenance.
The Cricket Association of Mizoram(CAM) with its limited resources have been doing all that is required for Cricket. Cricket Academy is also run by CAM, Umpires Clinics and Examinations are also organized. The CAM hired Coaches from Kolkata for coaching the Under -19,16 & 14 Players and also the seniors. But from 2017 we were fortunate to have Coaches/Trainer from the National Cricket Club (NCC) Kolkata because of Shri Avishek Dalmiya,Hony. Jt. Secy, Cricket Association of Bengal. He has been giving us continuous support. I would also like to put it on record the support rendered by the Late Shri Jagmohan Dalmiya to the Cricket Association of Mizoram. He has been our well wisher and helped us in getting a small sponsorship also.
2017 have been a good year for Cricket Association of Mizoram, we were very fortunate, We could send five members each for BCCI Coach Training and Umpires Training. We could nominate another four members for Coach/Umpire training organized by NCC at Manipur. Umpiring standard have improved a lot after that and we are having trained Coaches also. One of our Coaches was appointed as Cricket Coach by the Sports & Youth Services Department, Govt. of Mizoram also. This was also achieved after several requests and for the blessings of our President. These are important milestones for us. While penning down this brief report,I am happy to write that we have been allowed to participate in the Curators workshop to be held in BCCI Hqrs. at Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai on 5th and 6th June’18 after several requests from our side and also from Mr Naba Bhattacherjee, Secy, MCA. We have nominated two of our officials for this.
The Mizoram Cricket Team have taken up tours to other States also. This tours have been organized from late 80’s when the Mizoram Cricket Team toured Silchar, Karimganj and Hailakandi Districts of Assam. Now the Mizoram Under-19, 16 & 14 Teams are going out to play in Silchar, Guwahati, Shillong, Dimapur and Kolkata. The Cricket Association of Mizoram have also sent Team to Gandhinagar and Patna for participating in Tournament’s. We could send our Under 19/16 Team to play with Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) Team and sponsored by CAB in the month of April’18. We are very thankful to Shri Avishek Dalmiya for organizing this Tour. This was of immense help to our players. The results are not that good but satisfactory. In some other tournaments that we participate in NE, we were able to defeat some Associated Member Teams of BCCI.
We have been running from pillar to post for our Affiliation to the BCCI. The first letter requesting for affiliation was sent to BCCI way back in 1992. Many of our officials have been meeting the BCCI Officials also. From the time our present President was elected, he has met top BCCI officials like Shri Jagmohan Dalmiya,Shri Arun Jaitley, Shri Rajeev Shukla, Shri Sharad Pawar on different occasions with our request for affiliation. President had arranged meeting with some other important officials where I represented. We met Shri N.Srinivasan in Chennai when he was the BCCI Secretary in June ‘2012 along with Pu B. Lalnuntluanga, Hony. Secy CAM at that time. He gave an appointment with 5mts time. I am very happy to share with you all that, when I started presenting our case with all our activities etc., it continued for 45 minutes. He was impressed and in the AGM held on September 2012 at Kolkata, he had suggested our name for affiliation which was also accepted in the meeting. But due to unknown reasons it was not followed up. After I was elected as Hony Secretary in 2014,We continued our efforts and when Shri Jagmohan Dalmiya became the President of BCCI again, on his instruction the affiliation Committee meeting was held again in Bangalore where our case was discussed under Shri Anurag Thakur. It was proposed that a study team will come to inspect us. But it did not materialize immediately. I had met many BCCI officials and also from other State Associations regarding our affiliation. But unfortunately it didn’t happen. Now after the Hon’ble Justice Lodha recommendations came regarding the BCCI, inspection team comprising Shri Anshuman Gaekwad and Shri Prakash Dixit visited us. I came to know that, they didn’t write a positive note for us.
The COA called all the North East States for meeting in Delhi on 8th Sept’18 and we were also called. This was the first BCCI official meeting where Cricket Association of Mizoram was invited. I was the lucky one to attend the meeting. I am happy that I could present our case and the COA Chairman Shri Vinod Rai was impressed about what we have been doing. Our Stadium and activities was praised by him, Ms Diana Edulji, Mr Rahul Johri the CEO, BCCI and Prof. R. Shetty. On my request regarding our affiliation the COA said you will get in due course of time as and when the Supreme Court gives final judgement. On my insistence to allow us to play,it was informed to me to submit affidavit to the Supreme Court for early decision on the matter. This was an important day for Mizoram Cricket. Accordingly we have approached the Hon’ble Supreme Court and our case is there for its consideration. We are also waiting eagerly for the decision. That day will not be far, when we will be also inducted as an affiliated member of BCCI and our players will perform in BCCI organized tournaments.
The sincere efforts and dedication of the Office Bearer’s and Executive Committee and all members of Cricket Association of Mizoram , Cricket has been promoted and developed in this hilly State among the youths and we have achieved this much success. Mention may be made that, in this journey we have spent a lot of money from our own pockets for a better future of our players. I sincerely hope and believe that, our efforts will definitely yield good results when the time comes. We know we have to climb a lot of steps to be in line with other Cricket Associations but with the Blessings of God and with the support of the Government and BCCI in particular in developing our infrastructure, we believe we can attain that and very shortly our State players will be knocking for selection to the National Team. We have lot of talents and if proper training facilities can be provided, our players will come out as one of the best in India.
I will be failing in my duties if I don’t thank all the past and present Office Bearer’s, Executive Committee and other Sub-Committee members, others associated with us for the development of the game, without their support we would not have been able to reach this place. A special thanks to my President, Shri Lal Thanhawla,the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Mizoram, I could do so many things in the interest of the Cricket Association of Mizoram because of his full support and trust on me which is yielding good results for CAM. Let us continue the good work for the better future of our Cricketers. Long live CAM.