(Written By Ashish Satyam)
Driving his e-rickshaw on the roads of Ghaziabad, Raja Babu Sharma, a specially-abled state-level cricketer, is making an attempt to make ends meet after the Uttar Pradesh Disabled Cricket Affiliation was disbanded throughout the Covid pandemic because of the lack of sponsors. Raja, an exceptionally good cricketer, misplaced a leg in a prepare accident when he was simply seven. In an unique dialog with ABP Reside, Raja opened up about his struggles, his life, and his immense love for cricket.
Raja shared how his household has supported him because the accident that modified his life. “Wo kehte hai na kisiko banane mei parivar ka bahut bara haath hota hai (household performs a giant position in somebody’s progress),” he stated. Raja dedicates his life and whole profession to his mom who believed in him, and who taught him to see life past his incapacity.
“Once I was going by a troublesome time, once I was younger, my mom took care of me. When everybody pitied me as a result of I had misplaced a leg, mom would say her son had solely misplaced a leg however he was alive and that was extra vital.”
Hailing from Kalpi Gram in Chaunk village (Uttar Pradesh), Raja began taking part in gully cricket after his prepare accident and went on to make his place within the Kanpur workforce. At the moment, he was taking part in common cricket. Owing to his exceptionally good pictures, he turned well-known and native newspapers began to jot down about him. In 2011, the Kanpur Cricket Affiliation organized the Kanpur South Premiere League. He appeared for the trials and carried out nicely. However ICC guidelines didn’t enable him a runner, and therefore he couldn’t play. The organisers, nonetheless, made him the model ambassador of the match.
Raja didn’t know a lot about cricket for the specifically abled as a result of he had been taking part in common cricket till then. Issues began to lookup for him after he met Amit Sharma of Meerut, who was the president of Uttar Pradesh Disabled Cricket Affiliation, in 2013. Raja made it to the workforce and finally turned its captain.
A Dream Shattered
Speaking about his achievements after he began taking part in cricket for the specially-abled, Raja recalled: “On December 3, 2015, I acquired awarded by the Authorities of Uttar Pradesh for doing nicely in disabled cricket in Lucknow. I even acquired one of the best cricketer award in Ahmedabad. In 2017, the previous chief minister of Bihar, Jitan Ram Manjhi, awarded me too.”
Nevertheless, even this chance didn’t final lengthy. After taking part in particular cricket for practically six years, the workforce was disbanded because of the lack of sponsors. With no assist coming his means for him to proceed taking part in cricket, Raja ended up opening a Dhaba. Many different gamers like him joined him there.
In 2018, after studying a newspaper article on the cricketer, a Noida-based businessman, SP Chowdhary, gifted him an e-rickshaw, which is now the primary supply of his revenue by which he is ready to assist his spouse and two kids.
Again to Cricket
Fondly referred to as ‘Prannath’ by his pals and fellow gamers, as a result of he would slay bowlers together with his batting abilities, Raja now performs wheelchair cricket and opens for the Madhya Pradesh wheelchair cricket workforce. The workforce is sort of sturdy and has received the distinguished Madhavrao Scindia match a number of instances. He’s at present working onerous for an upcoming match.
Speaking about his efficiency, Raja stated: “My efficiency was excellent as I smashed virtually 120-130 sixes within the 15-20 matches I performed. I batted at a healthful strike price of just about 225. Not too long ago, in a match at TNM Academy the place Madhya Pradesh performed Uttarakhand, I scored 72 runs off simply 21 balls.”
In Noida, Raja performed with a workforce referred to as MCD XI. “Varun Sharma and Prashant sir are there and so they have all the time supported me personally and on knowledgeable entrance as nicely. They’ve allowed me to play at their ‘Play zone’ cricket floor totally free. I’ve performed with them for nearly three years and until now, they by no means made me really feel that I’m totally different from them.”
His cricketing profession, nonetheless, brings residence a lot cash, stated Raja, who drives his e-rickshaw across the Delhi-NCR to run his household. He stated some folks acknowledge him on the streets due to the celebrity he had achieved and imagine he’s a wealthy man.
“They suppose I should have acquired some huge cash from the federal government. however the actuality is way faraway from their creativeness. Actually, my monetary situation is so weak that I do not actually have a correct bat. My e-rickshaw wants some repairs however I can not afford it for the time being,” he stated.
The 31-year-old nonetheless hopes he would have the ability to flip round his state of affairs by his braveness and willpower in direction of the sport.
For the primary time, BCCI has acknowledged folks taking part in disabled cricket and has shaped a separate board for them, referred to as the DCCI (In a different way-Abled Cricket Council of India) with Dr. Mahantesh GK as its president. They’ve began a registration course of to gather knowledge about folks like Raja and to streamline your complete course of.