Cricketer-cop Joginder lauded by ICC, plays it down

Cricketer-cop Joginder lauded by ICC, plays it down

Gaurav Kanthwal

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 2

Trust Joginder Sharma to turn up in crunch situations — whether it was the evening of September 24, 2007, when he famously bowled the match-winning last over in the inaugural World T20 final against Pakistan, or the 21-day lockdown in the fight against Covid-19.

Joginder Sharma, Hisar DSP

The cricketer-turned cop, who has been posted as a DSP in Hisar for the last one-and-a-half years, is dealing with the challenge. “In terms of magnitude, this is the biggest challenge I have faced in my career in police,” he said. “We have to spread awareness, maintain law and order, carry out round-the-clock patrolling, oversee supplies distribution and save lives of people. Plus, we have to take care of the well-being of our force. In times like these, we have to use our resources with extreme caution.”

The 36-year-old allrounder said he and his colleagues are working round the clock for the last 11 days. There are no office hours and the police is just a call away in any emergency situation. The International Cricket Council recently brought Sharma back into the conversation when it lauded him for doing his bit in the fight against the coronavirus.

‘Others more important’

However, the self-effacing cop said his job is “nothing” in comparison to what the doctors, nurses and sanitation workers are doing right now. “As you can see, they are at the forefront. We are only supporting them,” Sharma told The Tribune. “Their job is far more difficult than what we are doing. Everybody should respect them for what they are doing to save our lives.”

Sharma, who played 4 ODIs and 4 T20Is for India, said the people’s response to the challenge of the pandemic has been very heartening. “Hisar residents have faced this challenge admirably. They have set up shelter homes for the migrant labourers and looking after their needs,” said Sharma.

Thakur of Bilaspur

Former India kabaddi team captain Ajay Thakur has almost similar experience, having joined the Himachal Pradesh Police as a DSP in April 2017. The 33-year-old kabaddi raider-turned-cop hails from Dabhota in Nalagarh and has played for Bengaluru Bulls, Puneri Paltan and Tamil Thalaivas in the Pro Kabaddi League. Thakur is currently posted in Bilaspur in Himachal Pradesh. “There is still time for you all to stay at home and also tell others. Cooperate with the administration. Only then it (overcoming Covid-19 pandemic) is possible,” the 2016 Kabaddi World Cup winning captain said.

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