Love for rugby in cricket-crazy world

GUWAHATI: With the introduction of colourful, cash-rich Indian Premier League ( IPL) and stars appearing in commercials on TV screens every now and then to promote it, cricket is ruling the country's sports scenario at present. Ask any youngster whether he aspires to bat like Sachin or Viru, you will notice a sparkle in his eyes as the honour and money associated with the game is too hard to resist.

But there are always some people who like to swim against the tide and prove their worth.

Several youths from Assam under the guidance of Assam Rugby Association (ARA) are honing their skills to leave their mark at the national level. While some of them have played the game before, others were into soccer.

Rugby is a style of football that originated from Rugby School in the United Kingdom during the 19th century. Fifthy boys from Jorhat, Baska, Kamrup, Kokrajhar and Nalbari have sweated it out and won the hearts of renowned national rugby player Surendra Jena, who is looking after the conditioning camp. Jena, who represented the country on numerous occasions for the last 14 years, is a rugby development officer appointed by the sports ministry. He is attending the camp at the invitation of ARA.