Moving through financial hardship, baseball players of the state, in absence of any help from the government, are in need of funds, so that they can play international level matches in their endeavour to represent the nation.
Bringing laurels to the state, four girls from Punjab were selected in the Indian team for Women’s Baseball World Cup, 2016, to be held in Gijang, South Korea from September 3 to 11. But unfortunately, the girls have been struggling to find a sponsor who can pay Rs 80,000 as fees per player to participate in the World Cup. The amount is required for visa processing fees, travelling and registration charges.
Amanjot Kaur Bains (27) from Ropar district, Virpal (22) and Arshdeep Kaur (23) from Ludhiana district and Raj Rani (23) of Sri Muktsar Sahib district hailing from economically weaker section of society were selected for World Cup on the basis of their performance in the Women’s Senior National Baseball Championship held in January this year.
“The four borrowed Rs 40,000 and deposited to Amateur Baseball Federation of India assuring their participation as the federation had asked the players to deposit a percentage of the amount otherwise their selection will be cancelled,” informed coach Harbir Singh Gill.
“Recently, on August 20, a city based businessman donated `40,000 to each of us and we have somehow gathered the sum of Rs 80,000 but if we get some funds from government it will be easy for us to pay back the loaned amount,” said Arshdeep Kaur whose father works as a mechanic in the Gidderwindi village.
On August 24, Sumeet Kumar Jarangal, deputy commissioner of Sri Muktsar Sahib issued a cheque of Rs 80,000 to Raj Rani after she filed a request letter seeking help from the government.
“We have given letter to the Ludhiana deputy commissioner on Friday through a non-government organisation and waiting for his response,” said coach Harbir Singh Gill.
“In Haryana, if a baseball team is a national winner, government gives the team Rs 5 lakh, if second then Rs 3 lakh and Rs 2 lakh on bagging third position. But Punjab government has given us nothing, even after winning national level championship for last three years,” he added.
Gill urged that Punjab government should recognise baseball under their sports wing scheme so that baseball players of the state can develop their skills with better equipment.
‘No baseball stadium in India’
Harbir Singh Gill, secretary, Ludhiana Baseball Association informed not only in Punjab, but there is no baseball stadium in our country. “We train players at the grounds of the schools and colleges which are muddy, but when players go for international levels, they find a big difference and fail to give their best,” he said. State level baseball player, Jaswinder Kaur, student of GSSS, Kum Kalan village, Ludhiana, was among 160 girls present during 6th junior district baseball championship. Her father is a driver. Kaur said that her coaches and school support in the best possible way. “When we go for state tournaments, all expenses are handled by coach and the association. They only provide kits,” she said