In India, cricket is not just a sport; terming it such would be an understatement. The people working behind the scenes for the Coastal Gujarat Power Limited (CGPL) understand the significance of sports as an integral part of India’s culture, heritage and also for youth mobilization. Now, the question arises: Why is sports an integral part of our culture? It is because the any games brings together people under one umbrella. It encourages people across different regions, castes and creed etc. to come together and overthrow cultural differences. CGPL saw this as an opportunity to channelise the fishing community’s energy by making them participate in a cricket tournament.
The tournament kicked off on April 7, 2017 in Tragadi Bunder. This was the first time that a tournament as big as this was being organised in Tragadi Bunder. The three-day tournament was powered by CGPL in association with NGO Swadeep, under the ” Sagarbandhu” programme. Getting the fishing community to see the light through something as interactive as a leisurely game of cricket was the primary motive behind the initiative.
As a part of the initiative, all the participants were provided with T-shirts and lowers with the logo of Sagarbandhu. In addition, all players were provided with individual cricket kits.
The tournament saw numerous players coming together across seven teams and locking horns against each other. The tournament saw numerous close shaves with the matches going all the way down to the wire. The crowd couldn’t be kept out of it with the spectators backing the teams and enjoying the action. The fishing community’s excitement was seen soaring to new heights during the course of the tournament. The members of the fishing community were seen swinging the willow with a lot of force with the ball was seen flying all over the place.
The Final was contested between the SS Eleven and the Fisherman Eleven. The SS Eleven were seen batting first. They scored 145 runs from the allotted quota of 14 overs owing to a flurry of boundaries. In reply, the Fishermen Eleven began on a positive note, but kept losing wickets at regular intervals. The match was an absolute cliffhanger with both teams fighting tooth and nail in order to snatch victory. Eventually, the SS Eleven won by 2 runs and won the match.
The silverware was handed over to the winning team by the Chairman of VDAC, Mr. Salimbhai who was seen congratulating the winners. The tournament successfully brought a lot of goodwill for CGPL and also highlighted their concern for enhancing the quality of life of people in Tragadi Bunder. It was yet another successful attempt made by CGPL to bring the youth together The fishermen applauded the efforts made by CGPL. For CGPL, it was just a small step in its bid to encourage community participation, teamwork and community mobilisation.