No stopping city players from making big at global level; better infra is all they need : The Tribune India

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No stopping city players from making big at global level; better infra is all they need

No stopping city players from making big at global level; better infra is all they need

(From left) Nehal Wadhera; Vikas Thakur gets a warm welcome; CM Bhagwant Mann hands over winners' trophy during the prize distribution function of Punjab Games and Gurbaz Singh with his trophy . file

Anil Datt

Ludhiana, December 18

After a lull of about two years, due to the Covid-19 when the outbreak of virus affected everyone across the world and the sports activities also came to a standstill since stadiums, sports complexes and playgrounds were closed down. Players here too avoided visiting playgrounds and were forced to do routine practice at their homes.

Punjab beat defending champions Tamil Nadu to win the title in the Senior National Basketball Championship at Udaipur.

During the current year, as the situation eased throughout, Ludhiana, the industrial hub of Punjab state too turned alive with sportspersons started visiting playgrounds. Officials of different sports associations and the Punjab Sports Department authorities as well too heaved a sigh of relief with the resume of competitions.

Sports activities began in full swing and Ludhiana players hogged limelight at the national and international-level championships. They brought fame to the city in different sports disciplines during the current year.


Vikas scores hat-trick of medals at CWG

City based ace weightlifter Vikas Thakur, a warrant Officer with Indian Air Force, completed hat-trick of medals in the Commonwealth Games. In July, Vikas secured silver medal in the 96 kg weight category at Birmingham in UK. He lifted a total 381 kg weight to finish runner-up to clinch silver medal. This was his third medal in three successive editions of Commonwealth Games.

Earlier, too Vikas had won medals in these games. He won silver medal in the 85 kg weight section at Glasgow, Scotland in 2014 and a bronze medal in 94 kg weight category at Gold Coast, Australia in 2018. His achievement was duly recognised by the Union Government in addition to the Punjab and Himachal Pradesh Governments. This would encourage the youth of Punjab to take an active part in sports.

LBA players reign supreme

Trainees of the Ludhiana Basketball Academy (LBA), run here at Guru Nanak Stadium by the Punjab Basketball Association, gave sterling performances in the national championships. They made outstanding contribution in Punjab’s winning the title in Khelo India Youth Games at Panchkula. They performed exceedingly well to enable Punjab clinch the title in the Junior National Basketball Championship. They also played a pivot role in Punjab’s men team’s regaining the title in Senior National Basketball Championship held at Udaipur in Rajasthan. Gurbaz Singh, a former trainee of LBA who played a major role in Punjab teams’ title victory at Udaipur, was adjudged the best player.

Khedan Vatan Punjab Diyan a success

The Punjab Government took a welcome initiative by organising Khedan Vatan Punjab Diyan in which over three lakh players from all over the state, in different age categories took part in 29 sports disciplines. The sports extravaganza was held over a period of three months at the block, district and state-level to recognise the talent of sportspersons and encourage the youth to take part in sports.

City played host to the closing ceremony of this event at Guru Nanak Stadium during which CM Bhagwant Mann digitally transferred an amount of Rs 6.85 crore in the bank accounts of as many as 9,961 players who bagged first three positions in these games.

Lakshay made strides in badminton arena

City badminton player, Lakshay Sharma (17) has established himself in the field of badminton. A student of Sacred Heart Convent School, Sarabha Nagar and trainee of NIS qualified coach, his father, Mangat Rai Sharma, with a number of titles in his bag, continued to make big strides, this year.

Lakshay represented India in the senior category in the Sydney International Championship -2022 wherein, he reached pre-quarter finals; entered the quarter-final in the India Junior International Grand Prix at Pune; also made it to the quarter-final in the Kotak India International Series at Hyderabad; won bronze medal in the Yonex-Sunrise All-India Ranking Tournament at Bengaluru; secured silver medal in the North Zone Inter-State and Open Badminton Championship at Jammu.

Lakshay is invited to participate in the 5th Khelo India Youth Games to be held at Gwalior from January 31 to February 3, 2023.

He ranks 15th in the national ranking in the senior category and ranked third in the boys’ U-19 section.

Judoka Ishroop Narang

Local judo player, Ishroop Narang (16), was selected to represent the country in the Junior Asian Judo Championship held at Bangkok in Thailand. She participated in plus 80 kg weight category and had an exposure of competing against some of the best judokas from the continent.

Prior to this, Ishroop won silver medal in Khelo India Youth Games held in June at Panchkula, Haryana. She also won bronze medal in the Junior Asian Judo Championship at Beirut in Lebanon. She aims at representing the country in Olympics and win a medal there.

Nehal sets new record, smashes 578 runs

Nehal Wadhera, former India U-19 cricketer, gave a swashbuckling performance in the semi final against Bathinda during the Inter-District U-23 Cricket Championship in April this year, scoring 578 runs. A score of this magnitude in 414 balls, studded with 79 boundaries and (37) 6s is unheard of in the long cricket history in the world.

The high point of his achievement included fastest 200, fastest 300, fastest 400 and fastest 500 even though this is not first- class cricket, nevertheless it was a great feat and put to eclipse many records.


Sports infrastructure

in neglect

The sports infrastructure here at some venues, requires immediate attention and any further delay may cause harmful to the sportspersons. The synthetic athletic track at Guru Nanak Stadium and the AstroTurf at Prithipal Singh Memorial Hockey Stadium at the Punjab Agricultural University campus which were laid down about two decades ago are worn out. The authorities concerned should take note of it and take the required measures, relay these surfaces so that players can be saved of possible injuries.

The construction of all-weather swimming pool near Rakh Bagh, Civil Lines, too needs to be taken care of. It’s more than a decade now that the work at site was abandoned and the structure lies unfinished thus depriving the swimmers of necessary facilities.

LDCA activities

under scanner

The activities of the incumbent executive committee of the Ludhiana District Cricket Association (LDCA), an affiliated body of the Punjab Cricket Association, are under scanner. The Ludhiana Old Players Cricket Association (LOPCA), comprising former cricketers alleged serious allegations of ‘misappropriation’ of funds by the LDCA officials.

In a written complaint, submitted to the Ludhiana Deputy Commissioner, an ex-officio chairperson of the LDCA, the LOPCA alleged the embezzlement of funds by certain office-bearers of the LDCA. They complained that since assuming office in November 2020, the annual general meeting (AGM) was not held, body converted into a “trust” without approval of General House, Rs 24 lakh withdrawn from bank account without any approval, submission and approval of accounts/ balance sheet for 2020-21 was still pending and construction of practice pitches at a cost of Rs 14 lakh at SCD Government College ground without signing any agreement with the college authorities.

The DC marked an inquiry in this regard to the sub-divisional magistrate (SDM), West, Swati Tiwana who had summoned the entire executive committee of LDCA to submit the required information.

Young aspiring cricketers face the brunt

Young aspiring cricketers alleged indifferent attitude of some office-bearers/ selectors and coaches of the Ludhiana District Cricket Association. During the last one year, a number of players (over 40) in different age groups left Ludhiana and represented other districts. They complained that abusive language used by the office-bearers of the association, forced some of the talented and deserving boys either abandon the game or leave the district due to ‘negligent’ approach towards them.

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