Sikkim cricket captain Nilesh Lamichaney has become the first player from the state to score a century in List A cricket, a feat ac­knowledged by none less than prime minister Narendra Modi.

Nilesh, who cracked Sikkim’s first century in the ongoing Vijay Hazare Trophy in Gujarat, was mentioned by the prime minister in his speech during the inauguration of the Pa­kyong airport on Monday.

“Sikkim is known for football, everybody here plays football, but the same Sikkim has now taken to cricket …The captain from here, Nilesh Lamichaney, scored a cen­tury, becoming the first Sikkimese to score a century. Similarly, the airport here has scored the country’s century,” he said referring to the fact that Pakyong airport has become the country’s 100 operating airport.

Nilesh achieved the feat in a los­ing cause against Arunachal Pradesh on Friday. His swashbuckling innings of 123 from 145 balls included 11 fours and two sixes. He thus becomes the first player to score hundreds for Sikkim in all categories of cricket.

“Nilesh has scored hundreds against Bengal in under-15 category, against Kerala in under-17, against Manipur and Nagaland in under-19 category,” said Roshan Prasad, the spokesman for the Sikkim Cricket Association.

Nilesh said he would have been much happier had his innings helped his team win, but he was satisfied overall by the improvements made by his team during the tournament. “We have faith in the team. We believe we can come back stronger in the coming matches. We need to work hard and learn from the past games and make improvements,” he said.

Sikkim has lost all its three games in the Vijay Hazare Trophy so far, but to its credit, unlike other teams who are playing three profes­sional players each in their squads, the mountain boys are all home-grown players.

The team has five more matches to go in its first List A tournament.

Lobzang G. Tenzing, the president of SCA, has congratulated Nilesh on his maiden List A century.

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