From Delhi University cricket captain to CWG 2022 lawn bowls gold medallist, Pinki says ‘we had to do it’ | Commonwealth Games 2022 News

NEW DELHI: Take the lead. Leap. Jack. End. Box size. The vocabulary of sports fans, even some professionals, underwent a test earlier this week. It is not common to come across the above terms in the sports field in India, because the country hardly follows the sport of ‘grass bowl‘until three days ago. It’s like golfer Aditi Ashok woke India at 4am from Japan last August, forcing the country to google par, birdie, eagle, albatross, etc., as she prepared to win a medal. at the Tokyo Olympics. She almost finished the podium. But a quartet of Indian women on the Victoria Park bowling alley at Birmingham 2022 The game of commonwealth say to yourself: “Iss baar to karna hai” (we have to do it this time). And they won a historic gold award.
India has heard Rupa Rani Tirkey be very careful on live broadcast. She is the ‘Skip’ of the ‘Women’s Fours’ grass pitching team of India which includes Cute Choubey (Command), Pinki (Monday) and Nayanmoni Saikia (Third) as the remaining three members. That is the order in which they paint. ‘Skip’ is the last turn to bowl.
Rupa the ‘Skip’, a Ranchi County Sports Officer, is telling her teammates how to drop the ball and hit the line so that it turns around and ends up closer to ‘Jack’.
Watching a sport for the first time is like reading credits rolling across the screen: who is who and what?
‘Jack’ is a yellow ball. The players must paint (the balls) in such a way that they spin and roll up closest to the jack. The team with more balls closer to the hole than their opponent will get the most points for completing the ‘Finish’. The distance between Jack and the balls is measured with a device called a ‘box gauge’.
The credits roll back.
An ‘End’ is a synonym for lawn bowls with an ’round’. A ‘Women’s Qualifier’ match has 15 Ends, where each team member throws two balls per End. The other three formats are Single, Pair and Triple.
Faced with the team from South Africa, the runner-up in the 2018 CWG ‘Women’s Fours’ event, the Indian players have a big task on their hands. Having won a historic medal by being a finalist can sometimes change the focus. But if a throw by Rupa in the semi-final against New Zealand is anything to go by, this Indian team will be delighted. An attempt by Rupa ended with India’s four balls closer to Jack, thus giving India four points. That can happen by knocking Jack out of the opponent’s encirclement, allowing more of your team’s balls to get closer to Jack.
With great confidence, Rupa spoke like a director at a filming session, when Pinki, a gym teacher at a Delhi school, stepped onto the carpet to paint.
“Idhar se fnkna to yahan se andar ghumega (paint from this side so it turns inward).” It’s like India before baseball Captain MS Dhoni instructs his cameraman. Incidentally, like Dhoni, Rupa also adores Ranchi.
Two other members of the team, Lovely, a Jharkhand Police officer, and Nayanmonia, a forest officer in Assam, are watching patiently.
Pinki said in a phone conversation with from Birmingham. “She will know the best direction to paint in, what’s the speed, weight, etc. So Rupa constantly guides us. The coordination between the four of us is very good.”
It’s time to play the credits again.
When the word ‘weight’ is mentioned, it refers to the balls that the players throw. It’s a ‘bias ball’. Bias means it’s asymmetrical in nature – one heavy and the other light.
Pinki explains: “The heavy side is always held to the side where we want the ball to curve/spin after we hit the ball.
Up until the early 2000s, Pinki actually played ‘another ball game’ as the captain of the Delhi University cricket team.
“I have attended Delhi Public School (DPS) is a PE teacher, after I completed my diploma from NIS (National Institute of Sports) Patiala in cricket because I played Rani Jhansi Trophy,” the 42-year-old from Delhi said.
Rani Jhansi Trophy is the elite women’s cricket tournament which is also one of the standout tournaments to be reckoned with for the Indian team.
“I used to be the captain of the Delhi University team. When I joined my job at DPS, then-principal Mr. DR Saini asked me to introduce the grass bowls because in 2007, at University “That’s where this journey begins,” Pinki said, not mentioning why she chose not to continue playing cricket. professionally.
Like her team members, Pinki has repeatedly won medals from the Asian Championships. “I won medals in all the Asian championships on grass held between 2009 and 2018, including the gold medal,” she said plainly.
But the Commonwealth Games were not a fun hunting ground for Indians. Pinki has appeared in the previous three Olympics, but the Indian team never really looked like a medal contender, despite coming close on an odd occasion.
“Previous teams also played well, but the element of luck was not in our favor, sometimes their performances fell, like we couldn’t finish in our dying moments. . . I gained experience, it taught us how to do it (win),” added Pinki
Returning empty-handed is never a good feeling. Without mentioning it specifically, Pinki, on a personal level, wants to repay the support and trust her family has always given her since her parents recognized her enthusiasm for sports. .
“Those were three Commonwealth Games (without medals) – 2010, 2014, 2018. We went to the quarters and semi-finals, and then came back (empty) from that period. This time, we can do it or die no matter what, Pinki said.
India beat South Africa 17-10 in the final. They led 8-2 in one leg before South Africa came back to lead 10-8. Just like in the semi-finals, Rupa again finished 12th by drawing India 10-10. First she hits the ball and then throws the second ball in such a way that it ends up being very close to the Jack ball.
“The support and love we are receiving tells us how important medals are in the life of an athlete,” Pinki said. “Logon ne pehchanana shuru kiya hai (people have started to recognize us.) We are like ‘medal ek for chahiye hi chahiye’ (we want at least one medal at all costs), so everyone people come to us and ask us – what is that bowl of grass?”
Are grass bowls likely to get more support now after the CWG medal? Pinki was very honest in answering that question.
“Unless you do something, how can you expect people to see it (positively). Now that we’ve done something, support is coming.
“We won a medal at the Asian Championships, but now you can see for yourself what a Commonwealth Games medal can make. This medal has opened up another sport for youth.
“Come and play,” she said, before getting off the bus in Victoria Park.

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