First (tennis) ball pitched

Chandigarh Police initiative to provide ‘exercise & ideal platform’ for youth to keep away from social evils.

Written by Shalini Gupta | Published:April 2, 2012 12:12 am

Chandigarh Police initiative to provide ‘exercise & ideal platform’ for youth to keep away from social evils.

For Assistant Sub-Inspector Kaptan Singh Sunday morning was not like usual. Instead of filing FIRs or running after criminals,he was busy keeping track of match scores and maintaining good ground conditions on the opening day of the Chandigarh Police’s initiative Gully Cricket League that kicked off at Government Model Senior Secondary School,Sector 19,Chandigarh.

The tournament,inaugurated by IG PK Srivastava,got off to a blazing start with 12 matches being played at different venues. Considering the fact that over 550 local teams are taking part in the tournament,there was lot of buzz during the opening ceremony. Usually cricket matches have boundary line of over 65 yards,but in order to make the matches high scoring and more fun,the boundary line was kept at a distance of just 35 yards,resulting in over 80 sixes and over 50 fours in the 12 matches.

Although,matches were played with tennis balls and without gloves,thigh-guards or pads,the matches generated excitement and fun among the spectators. Hordes of players and their supporters attended the opening ceremony.

The tournament got a boost when Kings XI Punjab Manager brought international cricketers,David Miller,James Faulkner and domestic stars Bipul Sharma and Bharghav Bhatt. Although,these IPL players did not play cricket,they signed autographs and posed for photographs.

During a match between Undisputed Champs and Gully Warriors,one of the batsmen hit a towering six over the nearby rooftop of a building built within the school premises. As a result the match was halted for 15 minutes as rather than getting a new tennis ball,police authorities used a ladder to get the lost ball.

The Chandigarh Police decided to host such a tournament to provide constructive exercise and an ideal platform to keep locals engaged in meaningful exercise and motivate them to be aware about the hazards of drugs,eve-teasing and snatching. In the process,Chandigarh Police identified twelve such causes,for which the enrolled teams will be playing to support them,like drugs,chain snatching,eve teasing,save the girl child,noise pollution,dowry abuse,etc.

IG PK Srivastava said,“I hope a tournament like this will connect Chandigarh Police with the youth and keep them away from social evils. We at Chandigarh Police feel that Gully Cricket League will be a successful moderator between the boys and girls of Chandigarh.”

As many as 23 girls’ teams will also be vying for top honours. In addition,two teams each from Chandigarh-based blind schools and school for the mentally challenged will also be taking part. The tournament will be held in four phases,in which the first phase,the elimination round will be followed by Knock Out,Round Robin’s and Final Night Cricket League.

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