The “Annual Award Function” of Assam Cricket Association (ACA) was held at ACA Stadium, Barsapara on October 16, 2020 amid the presence of a host of dignitaries including Sjt. Sarbananda Sonowal, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Assam; Sri Shantanu Bharali, Legal Advisor to the CM of Assam; Sri Rituparna Baruah, MLA, Lahoal Constituency; Sri Dharma Kanta Mili, Director, Sports and Youth Welfare Department, Government of Assam; Sri Rupam Goswami, Chairman, DNP; Sri Romen Dutta, President, ACA; Sri Porikshit Dutta, Vice-President, ACA; Sri Devajit Saikia, Secretary, ACA; Sri Tridib Konwar, Treasurer, ACA; Sri Kamakhya Saikia, Joint Secretary, ACA; Sri Ganesh Dutta Chugh, Technical Director, State Cricket Academy, Assam and other members of the Apex Council of ACA.

The event kicked off with the lighting of the ceremonial lamp ceremony with a devotional and healing vocal running in the background. That was followed by the observance of a one-minute silence for the eternal peace of the soul of Late Bibhakar Nag, the upcoming and promising pace bowler from the state who passed away recently in a tragic incident. The felicitation ceremony was the next programme, wherein the honourable dignitaries and guests were felicitated in keeping with the Assamese tradition and culture.

The welcome address was delivered by Sri Romen Dutta, President, ACA. Addressing the gathering that comprised talented cricket players of the state (both current and former), coaches, representatives of the various district cricket clubs and coaching centres of Assam, and media persons, he extended a hearty welcome to all. He informed during his speech that the present Apex Council of ACA had earlier decided to build 15 dedicated cricket grounds across the state for the development of the game, and that, 8 of those were already at different stages of completion. It was further informed that the ACA, in a bid to provide a level playing field to all, has brought 38 Cricket Coaching Centres/Academies located across the state under its aegis by providing them with Accreditation through its State Cricket Academy (SCA).

Following the welcome speech, the official Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages of ACA were launched by Sjt. Sarbananda Sonowal, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Assam. Sri Devajit Saikia, Secretary, ACA, shed light on the various infrastructural and developmental projects taken up by the ACA of late for the betterment of the game. He started his speech by thanking Sjt. Sarbananda Sonowal, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Assam for extending his whole-hearted support to the organisation in its effort to take the game to every nook and corner of the state. However, he requested Sjt. Sarbananda Sonowal, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Assam for his gracious support to restore the international standard of the Nehru Stadium, Guwahati from the perspective of the game of cricket. It was informed during the speech that the ACA was going to develop the historical “Jerenga Pathar” of Sivasagar as a cricket ground, and that the work towards it was already underway. Likewise, it was further informed that in order to promote the game in Majuli, the ground of “Majuli Krira Khetra” was chosen, which will be transformed into a full-fledged cricket facility having five cricket wickets, five practice wickets and a pavilion. Similar endeavours were also undertaken in Furkating and Nalbari, besides developing a cricket ground in Amingaon with a state-of-the-art pavilion, it was further informed.

Sjt. Sarbananda Sonowal, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Assam, while delivering his speech, termed the domain of sports “Great”, adding that Education, Culture and Sports were the mainstays of a successful society. Praising the arena of sports further, he said that sports can be a medium of fostering peace and harmony in the society. Saying that the Assam government was committed to the development of sports in all corners of the state, he mentioned about holding competitions in all villages of Assam. He also underscored the fact that the State government was making a dedicated effort to bring a positive change to the image of sports by rewarding the talented sportspersons in a fitting manner.

This was followed by the prize distribution ceremony, wherein the players who had excelled in the season 2019-20 were awarded prizes and cash incentives for scoring a century and capturing 10 wickets in a match and 5 wickets in an innings. The event also witnessed the introduction of three special awards including “Player of the Season Award”, “Promising Player of the Season Award” and “Coach of the Season Award. While the first award was given to Ranjeet Mali, Dasarath Kumar and Subhrajit Saikia were feted with the second and third award respectively. Moreover, “Special Award” was given to Dasarath Kumar for representing in BCCI U-19 Challenger’s Trophy for India Red Team in November, 2019 held at Hyderabad and Vijaywada in the season 2019-20.

Furthermore, 38 Cricket Coaching Centres/Academies located across the state were brought under the aegis of ACA by providing them with Accreditation through its State Cricket Academy (SCA). Moreover, by handing over bowling machines along with balls to the said Coaching Centres/Academies, ACA became the first State Cricket Association in the country to do so.

The event also bore witness to Level “A” Coaches Certificates being presented to the candidates who had successfully undergone the Coaches’ Course conducted by the SCA. Additionally, intra-district club winners of Assam Premier Club Championship were awarded a cash prize of Rupees 1 lakh each.

The Vote of Thanks Speech was offered by Sri Parikshit Dutta, Vice President, ACA. The “Annual Award Function” came to a successful conclusion with a cultural performance that was thoroughly enjoyed by the spectators.