Cricket vs job: For these policemen and fans of Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, duty wins | more lifestyle | Hindustan Times
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Cricket vs job: For these policemen and fans of Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, duty wins

Here’s how the day goes for policemen outside Feroz Shah Kotla on IPL match day — guarding their posts and helping people, while keeping the cricket fan alive in them.

more lifestyle Updated: May 11, 2017 20:48 IST
Henna Rakheja
Delhi police personnel on duty outside the Feroz Shah Kotla cricket grounds during an IPL 2017 match in New Delhi.
Delhi police personnel on duty outside the Feroz Shah Kotla cricket grounds during an IPL 2017 match in New Delhi.(Waseem Gashroo/HT Photo)

his Friday, on May 12, many of us will be heading to Feroz Shah Kotla stadium to watch the IPL match between Delhi Daredevils and Rising Pune Supergiants. While entering the venue, we won’t think about — probably won’t even notice — the policemen guarding the place. They’re always there — almost invisible unless someone needs them.

To find out how it goes for them on a match day, we visited the stadium on the evening of May 2, when the Daredevils played a home match against Sunrisers Hyderabad. As soon as news broke that the Daredevils, after winning the toss against Sunrisers, had elected to bowl, the commotion outside the stadium rose to another level. Only the policemen on duty outside the stadium seemed to be aloof from spectators’ frenzy to get to their seats — they stood at their positions in their usual calm manner.

The match is between Delhi and one other team. Don’t know the name of the other team; time kahan milta hai dekhna ka. My duty is more important. -Vikas Kumar, constable

“We try to answer all the queries [of visitors],” said constable Vikas Kumar, who stood upright in his black, commando safety jacket with his hands balancing his heavy gun, quite adeptly. Replying to questions of almost every visitor, while keeping an eye to avert any nuisance, Kumar adds, “I’m posted here since 4 pm and will be here till 12.30 am midnight, till the match gets over.” Like Kumar, his fellow men in uniform too help visitors with their queries, while guarding their posts. When asked about the match of the day, Kumar replied, “The match is between Delhi [Daredevils] and one other team. Don’t know the name of the other; time kahan milta hai dekhna ka. My duty is more important. Tomorrow morning I have to report back to the police station at 9.30 am.”

Policemen are at their posts outside Feroz Shah Kotla by 4pm in the evening for a 7pm match. (Waseem Gashroo/HT Photo)

Despite their demanding jobs, their love for cricket is intact. “It’s true that I hardly get the time to see a match but, of course, I like to watch cricket. My favourite cricketer is Yuvraj [Singh]… I saw him today, going inside,” said Rohit Kumar, a constable stationed at the VIP entry gate. Overhearing Yuvraj’s name, another constable, Vikas Sharma, joined in: “Virat [Kohli] is my favourite. I have even named my 6-month-old son after him.”

My favourite is Virat [Kohli]. I have even named my 6-month-old son after him. If my financial condition allows it, in the future, I would like to make him a cricketer too
- Vikas Sharma, constable

It’s usually children who are the topic of discussion of policemen stationed outside the cricket ground for hours, as the general public enjoys their loving sportsperson hit fours and sixes. Anil Kumar, head constable, and another fan of Yuvraj, says, “We hardly get time to talk about anything, but when on VIP duty, we do accompany all cricketers and even celebrities, who come to see the match. My 20-year-old son is interested in cricket but I want him to clear SSC. How often do dreams come true.. it’s better he focuses on studies.”

The love for cricket is evident in their conversations of duty, but on duty it’s just safety of people, which matters the most to them. (Waseem Gashroo/HT Photo)

Anil Kumar, head constable, another fan of Yuvi, said, “On VIP duty, we do accompany all cricketers and even celebrities, who come to see the match. My 20-year-old son is interested in cricket but I want him to focus on studies.” Does Anil have a photo with Yuvraj yet? “Humare liye duty pehle aati hai. In fact, Yuvraj and [Narendra] Modi – ye do hi log hain jinke sath selfie kichwani hai lifetime me,” he said.

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