CHANDIGARH: Northeast’s tryst with the cash-rich Indian Premier League (IPL) has finally come after a wait of 12 long years as the Rajasthan Royals on Wednesday confirmed to play at least a couple of their matches at the Barsapara Stadium in Guwahati in the upcoming season.
The Royals will play two of their home fixtures in Guwahati, said the franchise’s owner Manoj Badale in the presence of Assam Cricket Association secretary Devajit Lon Saikia.
“The Rajasthan Royals had earlier requested the BCCI to allow them to play some of their home matches in Guwahati, and the Committee of Administrators (CoA) had on August 13 approved their request. The approval was placed and accepted in the IPL governing council, chaired by former India batsman Brijesh Patel, at the BCCI headquarters on Tuesday,” Saikia told TOI on Wednesday.
On being probed if the number of games could be increased, Saikia said: “The Royals are willing to play a maximum of three matches in Guwahati. We will also have to take into consideration the logistical aspects, but it is confirmed that Guwahati will host a couple of matches.”
Saikia also threw light on the preparation front, saying the ACA is gearing up to host the T20I between India and Sri Lanka on January 5 and post that they will plan for a special debut of the league in the region.
The Barsapara stadium hosted its first T20 international between India and Australia in 2017 before hosting a one-day between India and West Indies in October last year.
Saikia further said that the Assam Cricket Association has given the go-ahead to the Royals to set up a cricket academy in the state. In the 2019 edition of the IPL, Assam’s Riyan Parag impressed with his all-round skills while playing for the Royals.
“At present the Royals have a couple of academies in different cities and are set to open their third academy in collaboration with the Assam Cricket Association in Guwahati. As of now, we have not come up with the nomenclature, but the academy is likely to come into existence from January,” Saikia said.