It’s time for role reversal when jailbirds will deliver the verdict — OUT!! And, with this aim, the inmates of Ahmedabad central jail are turning to former test player determined to punish their opponents in a 20-20 cricket match scheduled to be held on Saturday. No prize for guessing who they’ll be up against? Yes, lawyers and judges!
As part of their jail inmate reform programme, Ahmedabad central jail authorities have organised a T-20 cricket match between their inmates and a team comprising lawyers and sitting judges of district and sessions courts of the city. To ensure that the 11-member inmates’ team enjoy an equal chance of winning, the additional director general of police (ADGP)-prisons, PC Thakur, roped in former Test player Surinder Amarnath, son of former Indian captain Lala Amarnath.
“When Surinder learnt that we are organising the cricket match, he expressed his desire to train the inmates. Thus, we organised a week-long camp for our selected inmates, who are participating in the match,” said Thakur, who too joins the sessions often to boost inmates’ morale.
Sixty-year-old Surinder, who represented India in 10 Tests and three ODI matches, lives in Ahmedabad and has been conducting training since Monday, which will continue till Saturday.
According to RS Bhagora, superintendent of police (SP) - Ahmedabad central jail, the training camp is being held at the Jail Staff Training School ground near the central prison. “The match will be organised in the same ground on Saturday morning in presence of many dignitaries. From inmates’ welfare fund, we will also give prizes and trophies,” Bhagora said.
He further said that the lawyers and judges are well versed with the techniques and skills of the game as they hold matches every week. However, that’s not the case with the inmates. “We cannot simply put the inmates against a strong team. Thus, we have roped in Surinder for expert guidance to make the match exciting,” said Bhagora.
Surinder’s son Digvijay also joins his father for training sessions every morning. “Apart from 11 team players, we are also providing training to 17 other inmates. Our focus is to bring about discipline and train them to remain focused during the match,” said Digvijay.