Raju Karmakar - the son of a marginal farmer - has secured a berth in India’s physical disability cricket team, bringing cheers in his native Kani Mohuli village in East Singhbhum. He, however, is struggling to find a sponsorship.
The 19-year-old boy, who lost left leg due to polio, is a wicketkeeper-batsman and his skipper described him as “one of the best” in the national team. At present, he is practicing hard in Delhi to prepare for Bangladesh tour early next year.
Karmakar said it was difficult for a physically challenged player to arrange a sponsor. “Being from a poor family, it is difficult for me to arrange fee for the passport.”
He said his father Gouranga Karmakar was a constant source of energy and encouragement for him.
Asked about his early days, he said: “I use to sit near a play ground and watch my friends playing cricket. Gradually, I got attracted towards the game.”
“Initially some of my friends were reluctant to accept me in the team. But when they discovered my ability to bat, they started promoting me,” said Karmakar, who got selected for Jharkhand’s physical disability cricket team in 2014.
“I cannot describe my happiness in words after being selected for the national team,” he said.
India captain Mukesh Kanchan, who also hails from Jharkhand, told HT: “Karmakar is one of the best players of our team. We are proud that in Team India there are four boys from Jharkhand. Our next international match will be in Dhaka early next year.”