Amethi, May 7 (UNI) Even as the craze for the Indian Premier League (IPL) was reaching its peak, the curtains would be drawn off the innovative Rajiv Gandhi Rural Twenty20 Cricket tourney, brainchild of Local MP Rahul Gandhi here later this month.
Mr Gandhi is expected to be the chief guest in the final of the tourney to be played between teams of Amethi and Tiloi gram panchayats somewhere before May 21, the death anniversary of late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.
The winning team would get a cash prize of Rs three lakhs, while the runners up will be rich by Rs 1 lakh.
State Congress chief spokesperson Akhilesh Pratap Singh said here today that this cricket tournment was one of the largest cricket tourney in the world where 1,857 teams, just from the Amethi parliamentary constituency, are participating in 1,819 matches.
''In other sense Rahul Gandhi involved around 30,000 youths in his constituency in this cricket tournament which created much enthusiasm among the young generation in the region'', Mr Singh said.
In the IPL, there are only eight teams with around 128 players and over 115 matches would be played.
Meanwhile, Congress leaders in Amethi claimed that it was an innovative way to reach to the youth in the constituency and Rahul Gandhi has taken a lead in relating cricket with politics.
''Everywhere the youths, who are the part of this tournament have started lauding Rahul for his effort to bring the most popular game in the area,'' the leaders claimed.
'' With the Lok Sabha election near the corner, such tournament would certainly boost the party with the youths coming more closer to the Congress youth icon'', they further claimed.
Chief organiser Rajiv Gandhi Rural Cricket Tournament Vijaya Murthi said this was the biggest cricket tournament that has ever been held with teams from the gram panchayat and naya panchayat level.
This Rahul Gandhi's Twenty20 tournament had organised 150 matches every day between April 15 to 31 in the preleminary round spread out in 140 grounds in Amethi and other adjoining places.
There were 262 umpires officiating in the matches, while 3,714 cricket bats and 11,000 balls were used. Altogether 131 volunteers were also engaged by the organisers for doing scoring and other works of the tournament.
UNI MB PDM RAR HT1502