Excitement and anticipation are brewing among cricket enthusiasts as the prestigious Ranji Trophy returns to Dibrugarh after an 18-year hiatus. The stage is set for an electrifying encounter as Assam is poised to clash with Andhra Pradesh in a highly anticipated Ranji Trophy elite group match at the Murolidhar Jalan Outdoor Stadium from January 19 to 22. The Assam team led by Riyan Parag has already arrived in Dibrugarh on Tuesday morning while the Andhra team is slated to reach here later in the day. Officials said that team Andhra will turn up at the stadium for practice at 9am on Wednesday while Assam team will go through the practice session from 12 noon.
The last Ranji Trophy match held in Dibrugarh dates back to November 2005. The match that was held from November 23 to 26 featured Assam and Kerala which resulted in a draw. Assam were all out for 169 in their first innings and were 5 for no loss in the second innings when the match ended. Kerala were all out for 252 in the only innings they played. The first day of the four-day match was washed out due to bad weather. The Assam team was led by wicket keeper batsman Zakaria Zuffri while the Kerala team that boasted of two India cricketers Sadagoppan Ramesh and Tinu Yohannan was led by Sreekumar Nair.
Remarkably, the present Assam Ranji Trophy captain, Riyan Parag, has a unique connection to that match held in Dibrugarh. His father, Parag Das, a swashbuckling batsman, had represented Assam in that encounter against Kerala, 18 years ago.
The upcoming match against Andhra Pradesh promises to be an exhilarating spectacle, with Assam’s captain Riyan Parag leading a formidable lineup. The team’s roster includes the promising talents of local players Mukhtar Hussain and stand-by Sunil Lachit, both hailing from Dibrugarh. Meanwhile, the Andhra team that will be led by Ricky Bhui presents a formidable challenge, featuring international cricketers Hanuma Vihari and Srikar Bharat.
Meanwhile the Assam Cricket Association (ACA) on Monday named the 15-member squad for the Ranji Trophy clash against Andhra Pradesh. The selected players include Riyan Parag (captain), Akash Sengupta, Rahul Hazarika, Rishav Das, Sarupam Purkayastha, Saahil Jain, Denish Das, Mrinmoy Dutta, Rahul Singh, Siddharth Sarmah, Dharani Rabha, Mukhtar Hussain, Kunal Sarma, Kunal Saikia and Sumit Ghadigaonkar (wicketkeeper). Additionally, the ACA has named six standby players to bolster the team’s depth.
Expressing gratitude to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for granting Dibrugarh the honour of hosting the Ranji Trophy match, an official of the Dibrugarh District Sports Association (DDSA) on Tuesday said, “It’s a much anticipated moment for cricket lovers as Ranji Trophy matches has finally returned to Dibrugarh after a gap of 18 years. We have been eagerly waiting for this moment. The match will start from 9.30am, and the pitch is being readied for the four-day match. We expect a huge crowd to watch the match.”
The Murolidhar Jalan Outdoor Stadium has undergone several renovations ahead of the match, including the installation of floodlights and a revamped seating arrangement.
“We want to provide the best facilities for both the players and the spectators. The stadium looks in great shape, and we are confident that it will be a memorable match for everyone involved,” the official said.
The announcement has sparked anticipation and excitement among cricket aficionados, who are eagerly looking forward to witnessing the action-packed Ranji Trophy match.
“This is a great opportunity for us to witness some top-level cricket in our hometown. We have been deprived of such matches for a long time and it’s finally back. I can’t wait to see Riyan Parag in action, he has been performing exceptionally well in this season,” said a cricket enthusiast from Dibrugarh.