Guwahati, Nov. 2: Hokaito Zhimomi, the first from the Northeast to be in the IPL as part of the Kolkata Knight Riders reserves for the first three seasons, scripted history again today by becoming the first cricketer from Nagaland to play first class cricket.
The 26-year-old Dimapur man today made his Ranji Trophy debut playing for Assam as a guest player against Tripura in a Group C first round match. Though it was a disappointing debut for Zhimomi, who was impressive with the bat in the last Assam domestic season, skipper Dheeraj Jadhav was hopeful. "He will overcome the pressure as he plays on in the season ahead," he said. The right hand batsman, who bowls left arm seam, sent in to bat at four down, was trapped leg before by the seasoned Tripura pacer Timir Chanda with an individual score of only four runs.
Apparently under pressure playing for the first time in a first class match, Zhimomi was totally unlike his normal self at the wicket, being out early sharing only an 11-run partnership with Jadhav in the post-tea session when the scoreboard read 207 in 83.6 overs. His selection had been under media criticism for some time. Zhimomi could not make any comment on the day's experience in view of the BCCI gag on players during match days. He had, however, told The Telegraph on the match eve that his efforts would be to deliver the best and utilise the opportunity the best way he could. "I can't do much about the media criticism but to perform and prove myself," Zhimomi had said yesterday. Nagaland, being an associate member of the BCCI, is not eligible for Ranji Trophy.