Imliwati – the PT teacher in cricket whites

Nagaland all-rounder Imliwati Lemtur applied for a six-month leave from Hope Academy school in Dimapur to represent the state in the domestic season starting with the Vijay Hazare Trophy from September 19.

Imliwati Lemtur at the Nagaland Cricket Association premises.   -  WRIDDHAAYAN BHATTACHARYYA

How do you identify a cricketer? Most say it’s the gear, accessories and the wear. Nagaland all-rounder Imliwati Lemtur redefines all perspectives when he runs around with a whistle among kids.

The 30-year-old is the Physical Education teacher in Hope Academy in Dimapur, and recently, he applied for a six-month leave to participate in Nagaland’s maiden domestic season under the BCCI umbrella.

“They allowed me, thankfully, though it will be leave without pay,” he tells Sportstar.

Being a left-hander, he models himself on India internationals Suresh Raina and Yuvraj Singh. Since the last three years, he had to strike a balance between his daily job and cricket.

“My school approved me for six months. I recently got married, there is a lot of responsibility. The school told me I would get the job back when I return. I have to join next year. They are planning to have cricket training also,” adds the 30-year-old, who is likely to bolster the north-east side’s middle-order.

Like most kids in the region, Lemtur learnt cricket through television. India’s World Cup triumph in 2011 added to the craze. “There were no expert coaches around. We were inspired watching cricket on television. I have been playing since I was 10, but I never had a coach,” says Lemtur, who also bowls slow left-arm.

Earlier, he has been a part of Nagaland’s U-19 and U-23 squad. The nerves have been tested. A string of decent outings in inter-district tournaments earned him the senior team cap.

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