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Sunday, July 22, 2018

Sehwag,Murali Kartik cheer ‘players’ during the Twenty20 final of Tihar games

The cricket match was as interesting as ever. Just that the ground was inside a jail and the players were inmates.

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published: January 13, 2009 3:26:25 am

“We enjoyed it as much as people outside enjoy watching India play”

The cricket match was as interesting as ever. Just that the ground was inside a jail and the players were inmates. The final of the Twenty20 tournament at the Tihar Olympics was played between jails number 1 and 2 on Monday.

Cricketers Virender Sehwag,Murali Kartik and Shikhar Dhawan were invited as guests for the match,which was tied after a nail-biting finish.

One of the teams needed six runs of the final over to win. Till the last ball,the result was anybody’s guess,as two runs were needed to win the match. However,on the last ball,the batsmen could take only one run and the match was drawn. “We are enjoying it as much as the people outside enjoy watching the Indian team play,” a prisoner who did not wish to be named said.

The 400 ‘spectators’ sitting on stands made the match exciting. With every boundary or wicket,the inmates would dance with a huge roar to songs played on the loudspeakers.

While giving trophies to the two captains,Sehwag said: “I used to think about life inside jail as sad. But now I feel that life here is as free as outside.” Kartik congratulated the jail authorities for the wonderful environment inside the jail.

The Director General,Prisons,B K Gupta said: “I am thankful to our guests for taking out time for the match. Nowhere in the world does such an atmosphere exist inside a prison,where inmates are free to watch and enjoy the event.”

‘Players’ who had made headlines
* Manu Sharma,captain of the jail 2 team,shuffled his bowlers quite well during the game but could not win. At the end of the match,Sharma,who is sentenced to life in prison in the Jessica Lal murder case,said: “Playing cricket inside the jail was fun. I think such activities should be held more often,as they help the inmates forget their pain. I enjoyed every bit of the game.”
* R K Sharma,IPS officer sentenced to life in prison in the Shivani Bhatnagar murder case,said: “It was a good game; we were able to pass our time well today. More such matches should be played.”
* Santosh Singh,sentenced to death in the Priyadarshini Mattoo case,fielded on the boundary during the match. He was sent to receive the trophy by Sehwag after the match.

‘I don’t even know why I was arrested’
Man of the match in the match was Umaid,who said he was motivated with the presence of Sehwag and other players. He made 46 runs and single-handedly took his team (jail number 1) to a position where it could draw the match. Even though happy about winning the trophy,Umaid was disappointed about his stay in the jail. “I am a Kashmiri and a government employee; I don’t even know in what case I was arrested in 2005.”

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