Coronavirus: HCA finds its saviours in a gardener, plumber

Gardener Venkatapathi Raju and plumber Prabhakar are ensuring that the venue that is known for having one of the best outfields in the country keeps its reputation intact.

The make-shift staff ensuring the green cover at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium in Hyderabad during Covid-19 lockdown.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

A gardener and a plumber have turned out to be the saviours for the Hyderabad Cricket Association as far as maintenance of the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium here is concerned!

With the lockdown down on to fight COVID-19 pandemic, the regular ground staff is stuck at faroff places and unable to attend to their daily duties. But gardener M. L. Venkatapathi Raju and plumber Prabhakar, with the help of security personnel at the stadium, are ensuring that the venue that is known for having one of the best outfields in the country keeps its reputation intact.

In scorching heat, it is never easy given the fact that both Raju and Prabhakar are not specialists. But the former, having worked at the HCA Gymkhana Academy and also at the Uppal Stadium nets under HCA curator Y. L. Chandrasekhar, has some knowledge about the maintenance of the ground.

READ| English cricket to incur huge loss if entire season wiped out

“We took this as a challenge and feel great that we could do a decent job responding to the responding to the request of the HCA officials to help them in this regard,” Raju insisted in a chat with Sportstar on Tuesday.

After gardening work at the stadium, Raju moves on to the main ground of the stadium in the company of Prabhakar to water the entire playing area with the sprinkler system in place,” he said,.

“Yes, based on the inputs from the curators (Chandrasekhar and D. Mukesh Kumar), we are also taking care of ensuring the pitches too are in good shape,” said Raju.

READ| Make the ball heavier on one side - Warne's solution to avoid saliva, tampering

With HCA secretary R. Vijayanand coordinating with these dedicated staff members, one thing that is assured whenever the action begins again is that the Uppal Stadium will be in perfect condition and fit for any matches.

There were some technical issues with the bore well and the sprinkler, but they luckily got them repaired even during the lockdown, said the gardener-plumber combine. “And we are pleased with our job,” they said.

And the HCA top brass too should be delighted. Why not?

Support Sportstar

Dear Reader,

Support our journalism — where text and pictures intermingle so seamlessly — and help us scale up your experience as the world changes around us. Your contribution is vital to our brand of uninfluenced, boots-on-the-ground reportage that’s worth your while. Clickbait sensationalism is not for us, but editorial independence is — we owe it to you.

  Dugout videos