Ex-cricketers join hands to encourage players from backward classes
Sudama Premier League, a cricket tournament to be held in Delhi, is one of the boldest initiatives of encouraging talent from the financially backward classes of the society by Prasar, (People's Right and Social Research Centre) a non-profit NGO.
The promoters have taken the novel way of sourcing players from the BPL and EWS categories for the cricket tournament through screening. These players were trained by luminaries from the cricket world and shaped up in the T20 format to compete with other teams in the tournament.
Kapil Dev, a legendary captain of the Indian Cricket Team, inaugurated the match and spoke with the teams to motivate them and guide their performances to the optimum levels. Atul Wassan, a cricketer of the Indian team and well-known commentator, also graced the occasion to mentor the players.
On being asked for an autograph by a player, Kapil Dev said, "I want to see the world requesting your autograph, not mine. That is the motive of this initiative."
India has an untapped bouquet of unlimited talent and skills which 'Prasar' has endeavored to bring into the public stage. This will motivate these players to overcome the challenges they face due to lack of resources, and this unique format and a bold initiative will also render an exercise in nation building and social engineering.
To make the event a grand success, an open and transparent screening was conducted which witnessed a turnover of 750 youths in the age group of 16 years to 23 years from East, West, North and South Delhi regions. The trials that followed for a final selection yielded 300 young and talented boys who have undergone mentorship and guidance under Atul Wassan, Sanjeev Sharma, K. Hariharan and have also been given uniforms, cricket kits, and other amenities during the training period for free. The trained boys will now play in the cricket tournament being held in batches from February 14 to March 11, 2018.
The opening ceremony was thrown open with stalwarts from the sport, speaking and motivating the young team members. This was followed with stellar performances by groups showcasing talent on the field providing wholesome entertainment to the audience.
The winners in the tournament will then be sent to an international cricket academy for further training and the runners-up will be sent to cricket training academies all over India for special training. The entire training will be free of cost for the winners and the runners-up.
Sudama Premier League is a lifetime opportunity to dream big and see these dreams take the form of reality.