Kerala prisoners vs Lankan jail officials: a rare cricket match

Kerala prisoners vs Lankan jail officials: a rare cricket match

A cricket match between India and Sri Lanka may sound nothing new.

But prisoners from the sub-continent playing cricket against the jail officials of the island nation will surely be a first of its kind.

If everything goes as planned, Kerala will host such a unique match at Thiruvananthapuram next month, official sources said.

DGP (Prisons) R Sreelekha has submitted a recommendation in this regard to the state government.

The DIG (Prisons) has been entrusted with the task of reviewing the preparations and conducting the match, sources added.

The Sri Lanka Prison Department, which has been enjoying a cordial relationship with its counterpart in Kerala, has expressed interest to organise two cricket matches.

A team from Lankan prison department are planning to visit Kerala next month to study the various initiatives launched for the welfare of its inmates, ranging from 'chapathi' making classes to beauty parlours, a senior prison official said.

They have evinced interest to organise the cricket match during their visit.

Poojappura Central Jail Superintendent S Santhosh said, "Cricket is a common factor between India and Sri Lanka. The Lankan prison officials have conveyed us the idea of conducting the cricket matches. If everything goes as planned, one match will be held between the Kerala prisoners and the Lankan prison officials. The next will be between jail officials of Kerala and Sri Lanka."

Detailing the preparations, Santhosh said separate training camps would be held for prisoners and jail officials to identify those who are interested and possess the calibre to play the game.

"We do not have the precedence of conducting such a cricket match. So, we have to identify potential talents. We are planning to organise a camp for prisoners at the open prison at Nettukaltheri near the city," he said.

A separate camp for jail officials would be held at the State Institute of Correctional Administration, the official added.

Though the Kerala prison department has no cricket team, it had a volleyball team, which used to organise matches.

If the cricket matches are proposed to be conducted on a larger scale, the department may opt for the famed greenfield stadium in the city, which hosts international matches.

"Otherwise, we may choose the Medical College ground or the one at Vellayani Agriculture College or St Xavier's College," Santhosh added.

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