Shillong, Dec 17: The Meghalaya Cricket Association is all set to welcome first class Ranji Trophy cricket back to Shillong, with the state team to face Sikkim at the MCA Ground in Polo here from 20th December.

The last time that Ranji cricket was held in Shillong was December 2018, which was the first season that Meghalaya took part in the prestigious competition. Meghalaya’s home matches in 2019-20 were held outside the state due to upgrade work on the MCA Ground, while the 2020-21 was cancelled due to Covid-19. Thankfully, the first class tournament returned the following year but in a condensed format with the BCCI scheduling Meghalaya’s matches in Gujarat.

2022-23 will thus see the return of Ranji Trophy cricket to Shillong for the first time in four years.

On Thursday, Abey Kuruvilla, the General Manager of the BCCI, visited the MCA Ground along with Girish of the Secretary’s office (pictured).

Kuruvilla, a former India international, was satisfied with the arrangements for the upcoming match, which will be the first of three Ranji contests to be held in Shillong this season. He held detailed discussions with MCA officials led by the President, Mr Naba Bhattacharjee.

The ex-fast bowler’s eyes lit up when he inspected the wickets, impressed with the amount of grass growing on it since green tops are becoming rare.

Meghalaya won their opening match against Mizoram in Nadiad, Gujarat, yesterday, overcoming a first innings deficit to chase down 298 with two wickets in hand. It was a complete team effort and should stand the team in good stead as they face Sikkim on their own turf. That home advantage could be crucial, as Sikkim are also high on confidence after defeating Manipur by eight wickets in their opening fixture.

Fans can come and cheer for their team, with the MCA arranging for seating at the ground. Entry will be free.

(Meghalaya Cricket Association photo)

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