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Vedic cricket: Here ‘Chatushkam Praptam’ is hit for a boundary and ‘Bahishkrutam’ is bowled out | National News

Ahmedabad: Hundreds of people gathered around a luscious green outfield to watch a match of cricket in Ratanpur village about 15 km from Rajkot towards Morbi town on Friday. One would think what is so unusual about it as cricket is the most popular sport in India and people, both young and old, spend time either watching it or playing it.

But then there is an announcement on the loudspeaker ‘Chatushkam Praptam’ which is followed by huge applause. One notices that the players on the field are not in the usual cricketing gear. They are wearing ‘dhoti’ and ‘kurta’ and have their foreheads smeared in ‘chandan’ (sandalwood paste) and vermilion.

What ‘Chatushkam Praptam’ means is ‘it’s a boundary’ or a four. And the players on the field are Karmakandi Brahmins (Brahmins who have formal training in performing Hindu rituals) from Rajkot and Jamnagar who are playing what one can all ‘Vedic Cricket’.

Here the commentary is in chaste Sanskrit while the players’ attire, a dhoti and kurta, is that of Brahmin whom one might have seen performing rituals on several occasions or festivals. 

Soon the crowd is jumping with excitement as the commentator shouts into the microphone ‘Bahishkrutam’ which means ‘he is out’.

This was the scene at the unique cricket tournament organised by Bhudev Seva Samiti for Karmakandi Brahmins from Rajkot and Jamnagar. The two-day tournament started on Friday where eight teams are participating.

It was a blissful delight for the audience to hear commentary in Sanskrit and discover new words for cricket terminologies.

Players celebrate after a match. Photo: Special Arrangement

The tournament’s organiser Tejas Trivedi said that Sanskrit was a common language that they spoke for internal communication so they decided to keep the commentary in the same language. “It is an attempt the break the belief that Brahmins can chant only shlokas (verses) and not play cricket. We thought that if one can have cricket commentary in Hindi and English then why not in Sanskrit?” said Trivedi.

He claimed that he got good response for this tournament and got queries from Ahmedabad and Surat when he announced it. 

However, we could not include everyone due to some constraints, Trivedi said. 

The teams have been given the names of revered Vedic sages (rishis) and are called Shandilya XI, Vashishtha XI, Jamdagni XI, Kashyap XI etc.

Another attraction of the tournament was the chanting of shlokas for every four and six! Acharyas of various Sanskrit Pathshalas of Rajkot were chosen to lead the teams while they would also handle the commentary in Sanskrit.