Junior National Committee Chairman Venkatesh Prasad is one of the observes stationed at the stadium © AFP
Junior National Committee Chairman Venkatesh Prasad is one of the observes stationed at the stadium © AFP

The BCCI is currently hosting the Associate & Affiliate Under-19 tournament, which began on September 15 and will go on till September 21. The matches are being played at Alur in Bangalore. A total of six teams are participating win the tournament and it is a league cum knockout tournament. Out of the six teams, there are five states from the north-east. These include Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Sikkim, Nagaland and Manipur with Bihar being the other team. Junior National Committee Chairman Venkatesh Prasad and Rakesh Parikhare overseeing the match and are currently in the stadium in order to select a combined Associate & Affiliate team. The selected team will participate in the Vinoo Mankad tournament in the East Zone. READ: Mongia, Dighe apply for National Selectors post

Talking about the tournament, BCCI President Anurag Thakur said, “We at the BCCI are committed towards uplifting the Affiliate and Associate States. In a quest to do so, we are constantly working towards providing them with the right platform, facilities, exposure and opportunity, thereby paving a way for the mainstream. This initiative marks another step in this direction and we hope that this will ensure that the right talent meets opportunity and more number of youngsters get motivated and take up cricket as a sport,” according to BCCI media release. READ: ICC rejects BCCI’s invitation for help

Similarly, BCCI Honorary Secretary said, “We have organized this tournament in Bangalore, with intent to provide these budding cricketers with the best of facilities and infrastructure. We hope to host more of such tournaments with intent to inspire youth to play cricket in the affiliate and associate states. We wish all the players luck for this tournament and all their future endeavors.” READ: BCCI to have open tender process for IPL broadcasting rights

Also, separate tournaments will be organised to form a combined team consisting of U-16 and U-19 players. These players will then participate in the Vikay Merchant Trophy and Cooch Behar Trophy. There will be coaching camp at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) ahead of the tournaments and the BCCI will appoint coaching staff for these players too.