New Delhi11 minutes agoAuthor: Sanjay Sinha
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Indian players surprised everyone by winning the gold medal in lawn balls at the Commonwealth Games. But do you know that the team which has achieved this feat has gone to Birmingham without a coach. These players have to fund themselves for a championship. With the money she gets in the award, she goes abroad to play the next tournament. Interestingly, the Lawn Balls Federation has not been recognized by the Government of India.
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Indian team player Roopa Rani Tirkey, who won Lawn Balls, told on the phone that the team has gone to play Commonwealth without a coach. The lack of a coach has led to many problems. Many times players do not know what to do on the ground, when to change strategy or are doing some mistake somewhere.
Players have gone to Birmingham on personal leave
Players Lovely Choubey and Roopa Rani Tirkey, who went to play Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, did not get leave to play Commonwealth Games. Lovely Choubey is a constable in Jharkhand Police. He was not getting leave. He was later discharged after the intervention of Chief Minister Hemant Soren. While Roopa Rani Tirkey is the District Sports Officer in Ramgarh. Roopa told over the phone from Birmingham that she did not get leave for the Commonwealth. They fear that their salary may not be cut.
India won the gold medal by defeating South Africa in the Lawn Balls final. This is India’s first medal in lawn balls at any Commonwealth Games.
These players have been trained by Madhukant Pathak from 2010 to 2018. Madhukant is the Treasurer of the National Athletics Federation and the President of the Jharkhand Athletics Federation. He explains that in Jharkhand, the players of lawn balls do not get leave to play. However, special privilege is available in other sports like football, hockey, archery etc. In other states, there is a system of leave with pay in lawn balls game.
Amitabh Kaushal, Secretary, Sports Department, Government of Jharkhand, says that there is a need to take a policy decision in this regard. If a player is posted as District Sports Officer, then in his absence the sports activities related to the district may get hampered. In such a situation, a decision will be taken on this by the department.
Indian players celebrated after the win in Commonwealth.
Players themselves raise money to play championships abroad
Lawn Balls players themselves generate all the resources for championship play and tours. However, all the resources have been provided by the government to send players to the Commonwealth Games and on the tour. But in other championships related to this game, the players have to gather all the resources by themselves. Lovely Choubey, a member of the winning team, told over the phone from Birmingham that except for the Commonwealth Games, the Asian or Asia Pacific Championships fund the tour with their own money. The money received in the award is used to fund the tour.
Madhukant Pathak said that neither the federation nor the government provides funds. Players make all arrangements with their own money. Many times, money is raised for these players to go abroad by requesting an organization or MP at the local level.
Indian players in Birmingham.
Team also brought gold medal, now preparations are being made to make policy
On the question of how much amount a player gets in the award for winning in an international or national championship, Amitabh Kaushal, sports secretary in the Jharkhand government, says that four months ago, the state government has made a new sports policy. Under this, players are given money on the basis of their performance in a tournament. Under the new policy, a player gets Rs 10 lakh for winning gold in the Commonwealth Games. Whereas winning gold in Asian Championship gives an amount of Rs 7 lakh. Similarly, honor money is given for many other international championships.
On whether facilities are provided to the players for the Asian Championship, Amitabh Kaushal says since this is a new game. What is the infrastructure for the game, what facilities should be available for the players, it will be decided soon.
MS Dhoni has encouraged the players many times by visiting the RK Anand Lawn Balls Stadium in Ranchi. The picture is of the same stadium where Roopa Rani Tirkey is seen to the right of Dhoni.
It has been more than 12 years since the team was formed, there is no natural grass ground yet
The exercise to form the Indian lawn balls team started a year before the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth. The Indian players were trained by Australia’s coach Richard Gayle. After this Madhukant Pathak trained the players from 2010 to 2018. It has been more than 12 years since the team was formed but there is still no natural grass ground in the country. The land in Delhi, Assam and Jharkhand has synthetic grass. In such a situation, the players are not able to practice according to the international standard. Bowling Federation of India Delhi President DR Saini says that there is no natural grass ground in the country yet. But preparations are on to make it. A private club in Kolkata has a grass ground for lawn balls but players are not allowed to practice there.
There is only one federation in the whole country, the government does not recognize that too.
The Bowling Federation of India is the only federation of lawn balls in India, but it is not yet recognized by the government. Madhukant Pathak explains that when the federation itself is not recognized then how will the players get the facility. This is the reason why this game has not been promoted till now. The players have to suffer because of the apathy of the federation. Bowling Federation of India Delhi President DR Saini says on this question that we have written a letter to get recognition from the government. It is in process and will be approved soon.
Synthetic mats have been installed at RK Anand Lawn Balls Stadium in Ranchi. That’s what players practice on. There is no land with natural grass in the country.
Mat maintenance with a donation of Rs 500, now players from 7 states come to Ranchi
Players from many states practice at the RK Anand Lawn Balls Stadium in Namkum, Ranchi, the capital of Jharkhand. Players from Assam, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Bihar, Rajasthan, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya etc come here. Lovely, a member of the Indian team that won gold in the Commonwealth Games, says that the maintenance of the ground on which she practices is also done by all the players together. She takes care of the ground by donating 500-500 rupees a month. No facility is provided by the government.
Madhukant Pathak explains that with the help of former Rajya Sabha MP RK Anand, this stadium was opened in Namkum, Ranchi. Players are given free accommodation here. Food is provided for 30 rupees. But players do not get facilities in the name of infrastructure. Nor are players provided with lawn balls kits only.