Board exams queer pitch for Rahul Gandhi’s cricket tournament

March 10th, 2008 - 9:53 am ICT by admin  

By Rakesh Mohan Chaturvedi
New Delhi, March 10 (IANS) Congress MP Rahul Gandhi’s plan for a cricket tournament to encourage young talent in the rural areas of his Amethi constituency in Uttar Pradesh has been postponed due to the ongoing board exams. “Though the tournament was planned for February, it was postponed due to the board (Central Board of Secondary Education) exams as many of the cricket players taking part in the tournament are students,” said Akhilesh Pratap Singh, Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee (UPCC) spokesperson.

The board exams for Class 10 and Class 12 started last week.

Gandhi, a known cricket buff, has often cheered the Indian cricket team from the spectators’ gallery in stadiums here and abroad in the company of his sister Priyanka and her husband Robert Vadra.

Congress sources said it was Gandhi’s idea to organise the Rajiv Gandhi Cricket Tournament in his father’s memory.

“The tournament is very much on. The process of listing the teams has already been completed. More than 1,800 teams from as many as 726 villages in the Amethi constituency have enrolled for the tournament,” K.L. Sharma, a confidant of the Gandhi family, told IANS here.

“We now hope to start the tournament by April,” Sharma said hopefully.

Sources said forms for enlisting in the team were available on the Amethi website and with the party offices in the constituency.

The tournament will be played with tennis balls, Sharma said. Gandhi, who is on a ‘Discover India’ tour, will only attend the finals, though he will keep a tab on the progress.

“The two-month long tournament will be played in the villages. Only the semi-finals and the final will be played in the local B.R. Ambedkar Stadium,” Sharma said.

The winning team will get Rs.300,000 as prize money. The organisers will provide cricket kits to the participating teams.

The five assembly constituencies of Jagdishpur, Amethi, Gauriganj, Issauli and Sultanpur constitute the Amethi Lok Sabha constituency.

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