On January 20 this year, Manipur sailed into the Ranji Trophy Plate Group finals and qualified for the Elite Group Competition after defeating Sikkim by two wickets at Lalbhai Contractor Stadium in Gujarat.
However, Manipur couldn't stand in front of Bihar in the final match, but the loudness of reaching the Elite Group was such that even Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh couldn't resist appreciating the young talents.
Taking to the social media site, Singh had said, ''History has been scripted as Manipur sailed into the finals of the Ranji Trophy Plate Group by defeating Sikkim. Indeed, a moment of pride for the state!
''The state has now started producing talented players who can reach national levels. The state will be hosting big teams like Mumbai, Delhi, Haryana, Bengal, and others at Luwangpokpa Cricket Ground next year as we got promoted to the Elite Group,'' the Manipur added.
The 2022-23 Ranji Trophy was the 88th session of the Ranji Trophy, the premier first-class cricket tournament in India. It was played since December 13, last year.
Now, in a historic move, the Directorate of Youth Affairs and Sports (YAS) has leased out Luwangpokpa Sports Complex to Manipur Cricket Association (MNCA) for a period of 5 years.
The lease agreement was formally signed in the presence of YAS Director T Phulen representing the YAS Directorate; Finance officer, Paarithoi as a witness and MNCA secretary, L Ronel Singh, and Vice President L Gitaranjan representing the association at the YAS Directorate office at Khuman Lampak.
''Seeing the performances of our heroes from Manipur, a reward of Rs 20 lakh was given to the team for reaching the finals of the Ranji Trophy Plate Group. Besides this, N Biren Singh had initiated the process to lease the Luwangpokpa Cricket Stadium to MNCA to prepare pitches for the upcoming Ranji season, and if ready will be hosting the big teams in our state,'' said the president of MNCA RK Imo while speaking exclusively to India Today NE.
He further said that stadium floodlights have also been inaugurated and developing cricketing infrastructure is the top priority of the government and MNCA.
''Indoor pitches and covered pitches will also be prepared for all-season practices for the players. Schools will now be targeted to scout young talents. We are preparing to host a few matches of Ranji next season if we fulfill all criteria of BCCI,'' he added.
On March 5, the Manipur Chief Minister also inaugurated floodlights worth Rs 25 crore at Luwangpoka Cricket Ground and termed it a historic moment for the entire state.
During the inauguration, Singh also recalled the days when he was serving as the President of the MNCA and expressed satisfaction with the Manipur Cricket team qualifying for the Ranji Trophy Elite Group.
The CM informed that 45 crores had been allocated to further develop the ground to the international level and as part of the programme, the CM also unveiled RK Jaichandra Singh Manipur Premier League T-20 Trophy for the season 2022-23.
The CM also welcomed Indian cricketers Mohammad Kaif and Amit Mishra on their visit to the state.
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