This August, cricket’s home will have a guest. Or a new string in its bow.
The 2012 London Olympics organising committee, in its bid to test the facilities at Lord’s, the venue for the Games’s archery event, will host a four-nation archery meet involving India starting August 6. The other three nations will be Australia, Canada and the hosts UK.
So, 19 days after England host the first Test against India, the likes of Jayanta Talukdar and Dola Banerjee will set foot on cricket’s most hallowed turf.
Archery Association of India officials Vijay Kumar Malhotra, president, and Pareshnath Mukherjee, senior vice-president, are likely to leave for London next month. “I am sure our archers will love the opportunity of stepping into the Lord’s,” Mukherjee said on Tuesday.
The Grand National Archery Society, United Kingdom’s archery Association, is already gearing up for the 2012 Games. And one of the first things they have done is rope in the (Indian) Army Sports Institute’s (ASI) Korean coach Chae Hong Gi as assistant coach. “It isn’t a very good time for Gi to leave, especially because the Olympics is so close and we have India’s two top archers, Tarundeep Rai and Harish Kerai, training under him,” Lt Col Abhai Jawa, in charge of the ASI’s archery wing, said. Gi had been with the ASI from 2003. “We are also talking to another Korean coach on Gi’s recommendation, Kim Sun Pin and once I go back to Pune, things will be finalised.”