It was a high-pitched contest. There were thrills and spills, catches and sixes. The bowlers tried to curb the shower of shots, in vain. The event had all the ingredients of a high-octane T-16 match — with a difference.
Playing the gentleman’s game, donning white tees and dark trousers, were dons of all shades. Two convicts stood next to an under-trial in the slips and a Maoist extremist, included in the playing eleven at the last minute, carried out an athletic run-out. More than 2,000 prisoners converged at Patna’s high-security Beur Central Jail for the finals of the T-16 championship.
Among these were 100 hard-core Maoists, including Ajay Kanu, the mastermind of Jehanabad jailbreak operation in November 2005.
“Never have the jail premises seen such excitement. The prisoners snatch every minute from their regimented life for the strategy sessions,” said Jail Superintendent O P Gupta.
Ajay Jha, convicted of kidnapping and murder, led the Saraswati team and under-trial Naushad, charged with kidnapping, was the Jamuna skipper.
Rashid Khan, facing life imprisonment, did a Sehwag, hitting 40 of 25 balls.
Saraswati put up 97 in 20 overs. In reply, Jamuna could score just 60. In the end the winner was humanity, said, Praveen Kumar, the commentator, implicated in a kidnapping case.