Guwahati, Nov 5 : Hokaito Zhimomi, the first Naga player to play first-class cricket, on Saturday described his feat as "a step in the right direction".
Hokaito, who made his first-class cricket debut for Assam against Tripura in the ongoing Ranji Trophy match here at the Nehru stadium on Friday, said: "I am thrilled to have got a chance to play in the Ranji Trophy for Assam, but my real test starts now."
"Nagaland does not have a team, but the entire North-East is one region for me and I am happy to turn out for Assam. My teammates are surprised to see a Naga player playing a first-class cricket, but their attitude towards me has been very positive", he added.
The 26-year-old Hokaito, who hails from Dimapur, left his home to join Nawab Ali's coaching centre in Guwahati way back in 2001. He has not looked back after that. In 2002, he moved to Kolkata and impressed one and all with his all-round skills at the Gymkhana Cricket Club.
A left-arm seamer and hard-hitting lower-order batsman, Hokaito subsequently turned out for CAB first-division clubs like Kalighat Cricket Club, Dalhousie Athletic Club and Victoria Athletic Club.His big break came when he was picked for the Bengal U-19 team where he played alongside the likes of Manoj Tiwary and Wriddhiman Saha.