The UDAN Premier League 2014 featured a close cricket contest between Drivers and Helpers. Organised by the drivers and helpers, with moderate assistance from Logisure, the event witnessed enthusiastic participation from the players of both the teams. The players arrived at the ground with great gusto, accompanied by dancing and a dhol performance.
Helpers won the toss and opted to field first. The UDAN Drivers opening with Ankit and Kamal got off to a quick start. After some quick wickets, the team captain Akhtar stabilised the innings and guided his team to a respectable total of 81 off the allotted 10 overs.
The players had a hearty lunch at the conclusion of the first innings and followed that up with some merry making and kite-flying.
Mohan, the captain of the UDAN Helpers, survived some jittery moments before going on to strike some lusty blows. His teammates maintained the tempo (no pun intended!) of scoring, never allowing the required rate to get out of hand. Aided by vigorous running between the wickets despite the searing heat, the UDAN Helpers inched closer. With two runs to get off the final ball of the match, a four won it for the UDAN Helpers.
The UDAN Helpers indulged in some good-natured banter with the UDAN Drivers, who took it in the right spirit. The Drivers graciously congratulated the winners.
The presentation ceremony followed in which each player was given a memento amidst applause. The Man of the Match received a special award for his fine performance.
The UDAN Helpers raised the glittering trophy with hearty cheers and were soon joined by the Drivers. The players then dispersed with fond memories in their minds and hope in their hearts, this match having broken the humdrum of their daily life.
The players may have contested fiercely on the field, but off the field their steely resolve of working together in a network would only be enhanced. The drivers and helpers may have come from vastly different backgrounds, but were united on the field, as they are in their jobs. An event of this nature was the first of its kind, as tempo drivers and helpers are largely ignored by the general populace.
Here’s hoping future editions of the UDAN Premier League bring more joy and unity to the drivers and helpers, strengthening their ever-increasing bond.