For 26-year-old Sujit Munda from Jharkhand, profitable the 2022 Cricket World Cup T20 was the very best second of his life. She proudly met President Draupadi Murmu and Union Sports activities Minister Anurag Thakur in New Delhi and made headlines.
After which it was throughout. There was no grand welcome, no official or political chief’s go to and no welcome ceremony organized by the federal government in his hometown of Ranchi. It was a painful realization. He isn’t a member of the Indian cricket staff. He’s a member of India’s blind cricket staff, which gained the T20 World Cup for the third time in a row, defeating Bangladesh by 120 runs.
“Successful the World Cup didn’t change my life. I do not know what else I can do,” Munda stated, swinging his arm again to throw a ball into the sundown as he practiced for the subsequent recreation. Her black and inexperienced tote bag says “Imagine, Be.”
Folks in his space name him Jasprit Bumrah of Jharkhand as a result of he additionally bowls at a pace of 140 kmph.
Forward of December’s T20 World Cup in Bengaluru, Munda met Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren and state Sports activities Minister Hafizul Hasan in Ranchi and made three requests: higher schooling for his two youngsters, a spot to dwell and a authorities job. sports activities quota.
“The Chief Minister has promised to satisfy all my calls for and I’ve promised to return victoriously. They are saying that if we win the World Cup, every little thing will change. “Now I’ve gained the world championship, however there isn’t a change in my scenario,” he stated, sitting in his one-room stall. His spouse cooks rice whereas he talks about his goals and despair.
Ace cricketers like Sujit Munda are making strides however one way or the other stay on the fringes of the loopy fame, glamor and riches that accompany members of the Indian cricket staff. Followers shouldn’t have the identical satisfaction for the ladies’s cricket staff as for the blind cricket staff. With out followers, they won’t get on the spot reputation, profitable contracts, sponsorships and fame.
Munda lives together with his spouse and two youngsters in a one-room shack in Ranchi’s Dhruva space. A framed certificates of his contribution to cricket — a present from an area group — is the one ornament on the cracked kitchen wall. The outdated Man of the Match trophy he gained within the district event a couple of years in the past sits on prime of the blue fridge.
A number of journalists adopted him, however in addition they disappeared. He was revered by native faculties. However there was no respect from the federal government. “Everybody confirmed love and respect. The federal government simply bailed. I used to be indignant,” Munda stated.
He is aware of he’s solely nearly as good as his final recreation and is now gearing up for his subsequent match in Tamil Nadu for the Nagesh Trophy on January 25. 28 international locations will take part in it.
Munda traveled to the US in 2011 to compete within the javelin and shot put occasions and performed cricket in South Africa, Dubai and Bangladesh.
However each time he returns, he returns to the identical hut and faces excessive warmth in summer time and extreme frost in winter.
“I at all times needed to do one thing for the nation and I did. I’ll proceed to play for the nation. It did not break my spirit,” stated Munda, who studied at a college for the blind in Ranchi until Class 12 and joined the Jharkhand cricket staff in 2014. He performed his first cricket match in 2018 in opposition to South Africa.
However cricket would not pay the payments. Munda depends on authorities help equivalent to a blind pension (Rs 1,000 monthly) and borrows from his working brothers to help his household.
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Play and pay the worth
When he left Ranchi for the T20 World Cup, he was stuffed with hope. The entire neighborhood escorted him from the airport. It was a celebration, however for Munda, it was a chance to alter his life.
Once they gained the ultimate in opposition to Bangladesh on December 17, followers on the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru raised the flag. Munda was prepared for the subsequent chapter of his life.
Different gamers had related goals that at the moment are gathering mud. “We have now written to the Karnataka authorities to supply Rs 10 crore to the gamers and coaches. However nothing occurred. Everybody clicked photos, stated good issues and left,” says Asif Pasha, who coaches the Indian blind cricket staff, over the cellphone.
Bitterness seeps into his voice as he compares his staff to the Rohit Sharma-led nationwide cricket staff. “In the event that they gained the World Cup, the entire nation could be dancing round them. However there’s nothing for us,” he says.
Members of the Cricket Affiliation for the Blind in India (CABI) agree.
“The gamers have labored exhausting for this and the federal government ought to do one thing for them. Folks like Sujit Munda come from a really poor household and play truthfully. They need to be given at the least Rs 2 lakh as tribute,” stated a CABI member who didn’t want to be named.
CABI is run by the In another way Means Cricket Council of India (DCCI) together with Deaf Cricket.
The issue isn’t restricted to Jharkhand. Different gamers of the Munda staff are going by the identical conundrum of returning dwelling.
From Haryana to Karnataka, blind gamers have returned dwelling as winners, however the authorities is ready for recognition of their expertise and achievements.
“Not a single chief or official got here to fulfill me. I’ve not acquired any reward from the federal government,” stated Deepak Malik, a blind cricketer from Haryana.
In 2018, Malik acquired a authorities job by Haryana’s excellent sportsperson recruitment coverage. Immediately, he works as a cricket coach incomes Rs 30,000 monthly.
Not like Malik, Prakash Jairamaiah from Bengaluru works as an accountant in a non-public clinic. He joined the blind cricket staff in 2020. “I earn Rs 11,000 monthly. I had 20 days off for the World Championship. They reduce my wage and I acquired solely Rs 3,000 that month,” says Jairamaiah.
One other controversy is the popularity by the Board of Management for Cricket in India (BCCI). In line with Jairamia, the ladies’s cricket staff is acknowledged by the BCCI however not the blind cricket staff.
“BCCI isn’t giving us any monetary help. They provide us stadiums, pitches, some logistical help however no monetary help,” says CABI North Zone President Selender Yadav. He added that some states like Haryana and Kerala give authorities jobs to their gamers, however largely blind cricketers management themselves.
“BCCI isn’t but acknowledged by CABI however we try to provide our gamers the perfect we will. Every participant will get Rs 3000 per worldwide match. We additionally get some funds from the Samarthanam Belief, however nothing from the BCCI or the federal government,” says CABI president Mahantesh G Kivadasannavar.
It additionally highlights the inadequacy of the Indian blind cricket staff in comparison with their counterparts in different international locations. “Groups in Pakistan and Australia are in a greater place when it comes to monetary help or branded financial savings. They’re included of their nationwide councils,” he added. The Pakistan Blind Cricket Crew is managed by the Pakistan Blind Cricket Board, which is a member of the nation’s nationwide cricket board.
Different gamers have additionally skilled these variations. “I performed in opposition to Pakistan and Australia. They deal with their groups higher,” says Munda.
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There’s nonetheless hope
Munda hopes that the sport he loves and performs professionally will assist him break the cycle of poverty. In September final yr, the Soren authorities launched a brand new Jharkhand sports activities coverage for 2022.cut back obstacles from the best way of athletes”. On paper, it hits all the fitting notes, from bettering infrastructure to offering a platform for athletes and securing their future after they retire from the game.
“I’ve labored carefully to grasp the curiosity, consciousness and inclination in the direction of sports activities among the many youth of Jharkhand,” Soren stated whereas asserting the coverage in Ranchi.
State Sports activities Minister Hafizul Hasan additionally made related guarantees, together with ordering instructional establishments. However up to now, Munda has but to reap the advantages. Hasan instructed ThePrint that cricket falls underneath the purview of the BCCI.
“However the CM and I’ll make a deal together with giving a home to Sujit Munda. There isn’t a provision for this, however the CM will do one thing,” he added.
Munda’s spouse Anita Tigga, 26, is a former cricketer herself however took a step again after marriage and motherhood. He finds the federal government’s indifference inexplicable. “I am nonetheless ready, possibly they’re busy,” she stated, spreading colourful mattress sheets on the small mattress.
Whereas Sujith is on the street, he takes care of the homes and their two youngsters — a seven-year-old daughter and a five-year-old son who attend a close-by faculty. The daughter needs to be a police officer and the son needs to be a cricketer like his mother and father.
“I may also play for my nation sooner or later,” he stated.
(Edited by Prashant)