Shillong, Aug 25: Thirty (30) girls from around Meghalaya have converged on Shillong to begin the first phase of their trials at a camp to select the Meghalaya U-19 girls cricket team.
The selected girls will undergo a short camp here before travelling to Bengaluru on 1 September. The Meghalaya Cricket Association has tied up with a reputable academy in Bengaluru where the state girls team will be able to train with all the best facilities, including indoor facilities which will be required as the country is in the middle of the monsoon season.
All the players underwent a Covid-19 test in Shillong before entering a bio-bubble with the support staff – assistant coach Leonard Wankhar, physio Sushma Thapa and trainer Darishesha Mawroh. The head coach, Preeti Mehra, will join the girls in Bengaluru.
Speaking today, MCA Honorary Secretary Gideon Kharkongor said, “This is a historic moment as we have girls here from all districts. Many of you have never played outside the state and you have done very well to get here. We will provide the platform but the rest is up to you and those who are dedicated and hard working will succeed.”
The U-19 girls one day tournament will be the first BCCI competition of the 2021-22 season and will begin next month. Last season was limited by the Covid-19 pandemic to only tournaments for senior teams but this year the BCCI has planned a full calendar of domestic cricket.
Although the players from all age groups have not been able to train together in a proper setting because of the second wave of the pandemic, the MCA has worked as best as it can to give the players training schedules which could be carried out at home.
Meghalaya’s girls’ and women’s teams have performed admirably over the last few seasons, which has been all the more impressive as girls’ and women’s cricket is still at a nascent stage in the state.
Former Honorary Secretary and Convenor of the BCCI Taskforce, Naba Bhattacharjee, expressed his hope that the U-19 team will also be able to shine on the national stage this year.
“Women’s and girls’ teams have been doing very well from Meghalaya. Your journey and performances, given the few years that you all have been playing the game, have been fantastic,” he said. “You have good facilities here. Make use of the knowledge of the support staff and always be consistent and disciplined because success without discipline will count for little.”