Monday, April 30, 2001,
Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


450 examined at eye camp
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 29
Around 450 patients were examined at a free eye camp, which was organised at Guru Har Rai Charitable Hospital in Chhawni Mohalla locality here today, with free medicines and spectacles provided to the needy patients by the organisers. As far as 30 patients, identified for surgical procedures, will be operated upon on Tuesday free of cost.

The camp was inaugurated by Dr T.S. Cheema, Medical Superintendent of Dr B.L. Memorial Hospital, who in his brief address emphasised the need for providing help to the ailing humanity and the role that the voluntary organisations and NGO’s can play in this field.


Captain wants more for city cricket
Kamal Kishore Shankar

Ludhiana, April 29
“Though there is hardly any home here where you will not find a cricket bat or ball, the city still does not have a cricket stadium,” says veteran cricketer Chaman Lal Malhotra, 65.

In the 1950s, he played against Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi, M.L. Jaisimha, Chandu Borde, Saleem Durrani and many other master cricketers.

Chaman Lal, who is better known as Kaptanjee, was captain of the state team from 1962 to 1971. It used to be virtually impossible for opponents to get his wicket. Chaman Lal is a former student of the local Government College. On the persuation of Lala Amarnath, he played for Mahindra College of Patiala for a year. In an inter-college tournament that year, he scored 502 runs in an innings against Ropar.

In 1956, he scored 1,000 runs in three consecutive inter-college matches against Government College of Rohtak, Dayal Singh College of Karnal and DAV College of Jalandhar. This made him a probable for the Indian team for a match against New Zealand. He had to miss this chance to represent the country as he had to go to England for higher education. His parents wanted him to become an engineer and not a cricketer.

His passion for the game got him a place in the Warwickshire team. He represented Warwickshire in a Birmingham District League Match, besides playing against West Indies in the Commonwealth Games. He played Ranji Trophy cricket for about 16 years.

These days, Chaman Lal is busy promoting cricket in the region as the Chairman of the selection committee (senior) of the Punjab Cricket Association.

On a question regarding the state of the game in the city, he said, before Independence, Guru Nanak Stadium used to be popular among cricketers here. The place they called Siaulah Pavilion was later renamed Gymkhana Club. After a synthetic track for athletics had been laid there, cricket had taken a backseat, he said.

“About 20 boys of Ludhiana are playing for Punjab in various age groups. This city has produced many good players, but local boys still don’t have a proper infrastructure. The city needs a cricket stadium,” he said.

He said, “For any cricket match in the state, 90 per cent of the sponsors are of Ludhiana. However, the place does not have a stadium of its own.” He stressed the need for working out a specific sport policy, so that Indian sportspersons were financially secure. He said talented players and those who performed well should be given suitable incentives.

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