COVID-19: Female cricketer Anuja Patil offers groceries, money for people in Kolhapur

Updated: May 07, 2020, 08:10 IST | Subodh Mayure | Mumbai

India women's cricketer Anuja Patil provides groceries and financial assistance to helpless groundsmen back home in Kolhapur; state teammates help too.

India cricketer Anuja Patil (third from left) distributes groceries 
to groundsmen at the Shaupuri Gymkhana in Kolhapur recently
India cricketer Anuja Patil (third from left) distributes groceries to groundsmen at the Shaupuri Gymkhana in Kolhapur recently

With no cricket in sight in the near future due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the sport's groundsmen are the worst affected. Touched by their plight, India women's all-rounder Anuja Patil has came forward to help the groundsmen in her hometown, Kolhapur. Patil has distributed groceries worth approximately Rs 40,000 to groundsmen besides providing financial aid to some in dire need.

Supporting Patil in this cause are former Maharashtra pacer Ramesh Kadam, her Maharashtra teammate Rutuja Deshmukh, U-23 batsman Ranjit Nikam and trainer Swapnil Kadam. The group visited Kolhapur's Shaupuri Gymkhana, Shivaji Maharaj Stadium and Shau Stadium and provided aid to 11 groundsmen.

'Challenging times'

"This is a challenging time for all. And having undergone some of these tough situations personally, I understand how challenging it is to manage things. I feel it's my duty to help the needy," Patil, whose father Arun used to be an auto rickshaw driver till a few years ago, told mid-day.

"This crisis may last for another couple of months, so I plan to meet these groundsmen again to help out," added Patil.

Kadam said: "So far, we have distributed 11 grocery kits comprising rice (25kg), wheat (25kg), sugar (10kg), oil (5litre), dal (5kg), tea powder, soap etc."

India A’s Anuja Patil during the first ODI against Australia A at Brisbane last December. pic/Getty Images
India A's Anuja Patil during the first ODI against Australia A at Brisbane last December. pic/Getty Images

Having represented India in 50 T20Is, Patil can't wait to put on her India jersey and get on the cricket field again. But before that, she is keen to use this lockdown phase to upgrade her skills. "I'm utilising this time to work on my game. I'm following the schedule that has been given to us by our coach WV Raman sir and also speaking to my local coaches—Suraj Jadhav and Anil Sangawkar. I spend two hours training every morning and evening. I do my batting drills by hanging the ball on a rod and also bowl a bit in my parking lot. I'm also working on improving my visualisation of the ball with certain drills," said Patil, who has claimed 48 T20I wickets with her off-spinners.

Mental preparation

Patil made a fine impression in the fifth and final T20I on November 20 last year at the Providence Stadium in West Indies, returning with figures of 3-1-3-2 to help India win by 61 runs. "I want to ensure that I am mentally prepared because whenever the situation is normal again, cricket will begin and I should be ready to perform," Patil concluded.

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