Better late than never, they say with smug sympathy. After decades of deprivation at the hands of successive dispensations of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), the much-ignored cricketers from the Northeast will be able to showcase their talent in the Ranji Trophy and other national tournaments in 2018-19. The news, coming as it does with the advent of the rains, has sent a thrill of joy and excitement through the playing fraternity. The first, sharp showers in the Northeast couldn’t have borne better tidings.
Along with the six Northeast states—Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, and Sikkim—Uttarakhand and the Union territory of Puducherry will also debut in the Ranji Trophy, which starts on November 1. Also, long-deprived Bihar returns to the national championship fold after 14 years in wilderness, a victim of ruthless BCCI politics.