The soccer-crazy Mizos have found a new love in cricket and with former captain Sourav Ganguly all set to guide the youngsters, the state hopes to compete at the national level by 2008.
The state government, with the help of Cricket Association of Mizoram (CAM), has chalked out a blue-print on 'cricket vision 2008', to participate in the highest level of the game.
Part of the plan is to identify young talents and send them to Ganguly's cricket academy in Kolkata to hone their skills.
"We would be selecting talented cricket youngsters for a one-and-half years training in '22 yards cricket academy' at Kolkata under the guidance of former Indian cricket captain Sourav Ganguly," CAM publicity in-charge Sangzuala Hmar said.
"Mizoram is also under BCCI's 'New area development programme'," he said.
He also added that BCCI had already promised us to help in the key areas of the regional development work, including coach and umpire education, provision of equipment, facilities, resources, promotional materials, eliteplayer programmes and tournaments on both local and regional basis.
''Weare also trying to get sponsors from various multinational companies,'' he informed.
According to plans, both Mizoram government and North Eastern Council (NEC) would invest about 17crore for the construction of Suaka Memorial Stadium at Sairang near the state capital.
"Apart from the stadium construction, we have also signed a three-yearagreement with Videocon company to promote and sponsor cricket in Mizoram", Lalrochuanga, the president of CAM, told UNI.
"The company would initially invest Rs 15lakh for not only promoting cricketing activities in the region but also for sponsoring various cricket tours for the youngsters here", he added.
During the past few years, increased participation and significant progress has been witnessed in the game with 41senior and junior teams formed across the region for the domestic games.
"To start with, we will constitute state's Under-15, Under-17 and Under-19teams," the CAM chief said.