Generally speaking, conducting sports events in college is an encouraging sign, especially considering our society’s obsession with academics over sports.

However, for minor sports like basketball in India, sometimes, sports events themselves can cause more harm than good. It is a known fact that in our country, cricket is the one sport that is considered ‘King’, and while in principle, cricket is never to blame for the lack of popularity of other sports, at times, such a case can be made.

National Institutes of Technology (NIT) are one of the elite state run engineering institutes in our country with branches in virtually every state. NIT Kurukshetra in Haryana is one such establishment that is preparing to host its latest edition of its annual cricket tournament on the basketball court under floodnights, known as ‘NITE Cricket’.

Poster announcing last year's edition of night cricket in NIT Kurukshetra.

Poster announcing last year’s edition of night cricket in NIT Kurukshetra.

Every year, the members of the boys and girls basketball teams in the college complain to the authorities against sanctioning this event for the following reasons:

  1. Playing cricket on a basketball court harms the court as it breaks the ground which results in undue deflection of the basketball. This would result in heavy damage to the court in a very short peroid of time.
  2. There is always an issue of conflict for the use of the court between the basketball and cricket players after the cricket tournament is over.
  3. Students interested in playing basketball are discouraged by such undue issues.
  4. There is a fully equipped cricket ground in college which should be used for cricket tournaments.
  5. To solve the issue of lighting, the cricket tournaments can be arranged during daytime.

However, such complaints have gone in vain with allegations that the college authorities even threaten basketball players with poor grades if they persist with their objections. Says ex-basketball player and college alumnus Piyush Gambhir, who brought this issue to our attention,”Every year the basketball court is used for overnight cricket tournaments to promote cricket. I, myself being a sport enthusiast, am always in favour of encouraging people to participate in sports but using the basketball court for cricket is not correct. I have been trying to rectify this issue for years now but I have been discouraged and put down by wrong means. I have always felt, as an NIT Kurukshetra student, a responsibility towards the betterment of my alma mater.”

Gambhir has been relentlessly battling this issue for years now since his college days. Back in 2013, as captain of the college basketball team, he along with fellow teammates Anmol Bhatia, Rohit Chaudhary and Tarun Kharb, had separately protested through written applications, but to no avail.

Cricket on the basketball Court. College basketball players complain that such use damages the courts surface. Image courtesy: Piyush Gambhir.

Cricket being played on the basketball court. College basketball players complain that such use damages the court’s surface. Image courtesy: Piyush Gambhir.

As regards the conduct of the latest edition, Gambhir has sent a formal mail to relevant authorities over a month ago, but has not received any reply.

At the time of filing of this report, we tried to speak to Mr PC Tiwari, the President of the college’s Sports Department who was largely unavailable for immediate comment except for his brief statement that as of now the cricket event is still to be confirmed.

NITE Cricket-2015 edition is scheduled to begin this Friday, 24th April 2015.

Gopalakrishnan R
Leave a replyComments (12)
  1. Shardul 3 years ago

    However, this year the whole sports complex, along with the cricket ground itself has the privilege of the flood lights. This matter needs to be taken care of urgently.

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  2. Tarun Rai Tara 3 years ago

    This is a small level tournament in which every individual can participate,take mine example i am not comfortable playing cricket in big ground but its ok for me to play on the basketball ground,moreover we played with tennis ball,it does not cause any harm to basketball court.moreover as a sportsperson too you should agree if one sport is becoming popular and is attracting audience then that is the biggest success

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  3. ankit 3 years ago

    wow a third person who have never been to the college and dont know about how sports is administrated and even say sustained there is talking about the event and blaming the integrity of teachers. we can see here the smell of manipulations. come to our college mr, and cohesive environment and use of the ground by various sports except the shameful complaint this time for only 2 days. stop dribbling and play rugby on court if it is ruined by cosco balls and the bat hey, we can use rubbers but it is all about ego… anyway writing a blog and blaming some third person and questioning integrity of respected institution’s teachers is not ethical.

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  4. ankit 3 years ago

    p.s. i am the one who is batting in the picture! thankyou for that 🙂

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  5. Piyush Gambhir 3 years ago

    Ok ,so you are not comfortable playing in a big ground. Sir aapke liye cheerleaders bhi bulwa dete hai phir.Maybe you will be comfortable then.
    Nobody has a problem with cricket being promoted.Go ahead and attract the audience in the right manner! Not at the cost of other sport!

    And if still not comfortable sir then go home and watch IPL. at least they are comfortable playing the way it is meant to play.

    As a sportsperson, we should agree and what about you as a sportsperson? Who will think about our sport?

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  6. Piyush Gambhir 3 years ago

    Okay so here comes the organiser of the great sporting event. The third person has mentioned my name clearly.So there are no manipulations.And if you want to divert it to teachers part.then let it be! Playing cricket on a basketball court wont be justified!

    And talking about complaint, you very well know how many years it has been and not just two days!

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  7. Piyush Gambhir 3 years ago

    Talking about ethics, eh? Being a sportsperson you should respect other sports! Your entertainment is not the motive!

    Basketball is life for us players. Go play with your tennis ball
    in your kitchen! Invite your friends too because tennis ball aint harming anybody!

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  8. ankit 3 years ago

    “at the cost of other sport”, you are saying that phrase in a college where know yourself know how we manage our ground space and equipment. football, athletic, cricket, various sports event on sports meet are held there but none other than your “court” lovers have complained about it including the current basketball captain who is with the thing to be done. we have a college where helicopter lands on cricket pitch where fielders and football players share their positions, where javelin throw marks are made on cricket pitch. but we are proud of it because we support all sports and dont brag about one illogical thing based on some one person’s egoistic terms .

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  9. Anshul 3 years ago

    I want to ask one question, what’s the use of this NITE cricket? Cricket is the international game which has some constraints which is played in ground. Why play NITE cricket? because its not real cricket, If you really love cricket, then play in the real cricket ground, which is now available with lightings, like professionals do.

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  10. Kevin Thomas 3 years ago

    People sports is always been about respect if u can’t respect other sports no way you will be the best in your own sport …..imagine people playing football wearing studs in your cricket pitch which you guys try to maintain with good care how will u guys feel ….same is with other sports too
    AND THEY CALL cricket a “gentleman’s game ” LOL

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  11. Kevin Thomas 3 years ago

    Sorry but there are a few gentlemen who really loves the game …. And I believe they will always be the best in the sport

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  12. hitesh gupta 3 years ago

    How can playing with tennis ball for 2 to 3 days harms the concrete basketball ground …….thinking that for how many days can you play with basket ball on this ground……..inspite of letters for banning the NITE cricket letters should be written to competent authority for proper utilisation of sports fund and converting the concrete basket ball ground to wooden flooring basket ball ground if true spirit for the game is to be considered………….reply to points raised by one of the great lover of the sport are as under:-

    1.There is absolutely no harm on concrete basket ball ground if cricket is played on it with tennis ball.

    2.No conflict is seen on ground for the use of basketball ground after NITE CRICKET.Its just your imagination.

    3.No true lover of the game is discouraged.

    4.It is not possible to organise it on cricket ground .

    5.If it is played in day time then it will not be “NITE CRICKET.”

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