Photos: A different field of play for India’s sporting stars in lockdown

In Haryana, farming and sports go hand in hand. There is a widespread belief that there is a strong connection between toiling in the fields and sporting prowess. The state is home to many athletes and sportspersons who have won laurels for both themselves and the country at the international stage. Since these sport personalities find themselves at home during this year’s harvest season, they continue to flex their muscles but now, in the harvest fields.

UPDATED ON MAY 03, 2020 11:37 AM IST 6 Photos
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International hockey player Poonam Rani Malik (28) helps her family harvest crops during the lockdown. Though the Malik family hired a combine harvester, they could only finish harvesting half of their two acres of wheat before rain felled the standing stalks. The machine could not be used then so the rest was done by hand. “In those four days I got good experience of how to handle a sickle,” Malik told HT. (HT Photo)

International hockey player Poonam Rani Malik (28) helps her family harvest crops during the lockdown. Though the Malik family hired a combine harvester, they could only finish harvesting half of their two acres of wheat before rain felled the standing stalks. The machine could not be used then so the rest was done by hand. “In those four days I got good experience of how to handle a sickle,” Malik told HT. (HT Photo)

UPDATED ON MAY 03, 2020 11:37 AM IST
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Boxer Manoj Kumar seen harvesting in his family’s fields. This is only the second time since he entered the national team in 1999, that Manoj is at his village Rajound in Kaithal, Haryana, during the harvest season. “I have been watching the elders doing harvesting since I was a child. Back then, I used to accompany my father to the farms just for fun. This time, I am actually cutting the crop,” said Kumar. (HT Photo)

Boxer Manoj Kumar seen harvesting in his family’s fields. This is only the second time since he entered the national team in 1999, that Manoj is at his village Rajound in Kaithal, Haryana, during the harvest season. “I have been watching the elders doing harvesting since I was a child. Back then, I used to accompany my father to the farms just for fun. This time, I am actually cutting the crop,” said Kumar. (HT Photo)

UPDATED ON MAY 03, 2020 11:37 AM IST
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A combine harvester is seen at work in a wheat field, during lockdown, in Dhulsaras village, in New Delhi. As reported by the states, nearly 55-60% wheat crop has been harvested in Haryana so far after a delayed harvesting start this year amid the lockdown. (Vipin Kumar / HT Photo)

A combine harvester is seen at work in a wheat field, during lockdown, in Dhulsaras village, in New Delhi. As reported by the states, nearly 55-60% wheat crop has been harvested in Haryana so far after a delayed harvesting start this year amid the lockdown. (Vipin Kumar / HT Photo)

UPDATED ON MAY 03, 2020 11:37 AM IST
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The government set the country’s wheat procurement target at 40.7 million tonnes for the 2020-21 marketing year (April-March). Haryana’s contribution to this is estimated to be around 9.5 million tonnes of the grains. (Vipin Kumar / HT Photo)

The government set the country’s wheat procurement target at 40.7 million tonnes for the 2020-21 marketing year (April-March). Haryana’s contribution to this is estimated to be around 9.5 million tonnes of the grains. (Vipin Kumar / HT Photo)

UPDATED ON MAY 03, 2020 11:37 AM IST
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World’s No.1 flyweight boxer, Amit Panghal, helps load trucks with wheat produced by his family. “Due to my boxing commitments, I am usually out of station during harvesting time. But because of the lockdown, I am in the village this time so I got a chance to join the family in harvesting and packing the wheat for the grain market. Being a farmer’s son, it gives me immense satisfaction.” said Panghal. (HT Photo)

World’s No.1 flyweight boxer, Amit Panghal, helps load trucks with wheat produced by his family. “Due to my boxing commitments, I am usually out of station during harvesting time. But because of the lockdown, I am in the village this time so I got a chance to join the family in harvesting and packing the wheat for the grain market. Being a farmer’s son, it gives me immense satisfaction.” said Panghal. (HT Photo)

UPDATED ON MAY 03, 2020 11:37 AM IST
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India’s youngest para-athlete Rinku Hooda (20) fills a gunny sack with wheat using a bucket. He won the bronze in javelin at the 2018 Para-Asian Games. “My duty is with the combine harvesting machine,” Hooda told HT. “We have already done mechanized harvesting in half of our land. Once the harvesting is over, I will also help in stocking the wheat in gunny sacks. There is hardly any farm labour in our village.” (HT Photo)

India’s youngest para-athlete Rinku Hooda (20) fills a gunny sack with wheat using a bucket. He won the bronze in javelin at the 2018 Para-Asian Games. “My duty is with the combine harvesting machine,” Hooda told HT. “We have already done mechanized harvesting in half of our land. Once the harvesting is over, I will also help in stocking the wheat in gunny sacks. There is hardly any farm labour in our village.” (HT Photo)

UPDATED ON MAY 03, 2020 11:37 AM IST
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