Cricketers to the army way
Friday, August 4, 2006 (Bangalore):
Indian cricket team recently visited the training centre of the elite Parachute Regiment in Bangalore as part of their fitness camp for the tri-series in Sri Lanka. For the men in blue, it was an experience of a very different kind. The cricketers were at the institute from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm at the institute. 

The team members tried their hand at a variety of exercises that ranged from obstacle courses, shooting and rock climbing to even grenade throwing.

They also had to participate in tactical and combat simulation exercises in which they had to infiltrate hostile territory, strike a terrorist camp and rescue hostages. 

"We were only told that when the Army goes to fight on the border what things they have to keep in mind and how alert they have to be to keep themselves and their partner alive. That's what we did and what we learnt then we were there," said Virender Sehwag, Vice-Captain, Indian cricket team.

"Shooting was interesting because everyone was given a target and five bullets to hit the target. None of us managed to hit the target but quite a few of the boys were close. It was interesting, everyone's probably taken their charts home to show their family," he added.

Their visit also included interacting with the officers, eating lunch with the recruits and presenting cricket sets to the students of the Para School. 

Different approach 

The aim of the visit was to expose the cricketers to the army way of life and give them the opportunity of interacting with jawans. 

The previous week, they had visited the Pegasus institute where they camped outdoors as part of a team building exercise. 

It is a different approach to train Indian cricket team for the rigours of international tours, but one that fits with Greg Chappell's theories on lateral thinking. 

Whatever its impact, the boys in blue certainly enjoyed every bit. 


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