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Sreejesh pitches in for team mate Lakra with Sport (12/1/2014)
--Tazeen Qureshy
Hockey is a team game and what goalkeeper P.R. Sreejesh did today precisely describes the essence of the word.

The top notch goalie showed what comraderie is about.

The Indian team met the Odisha sports minister Sudam Marndi at the Kalinga Stadium today after their practice session and when the minister went to Sreejesh to shake hands with him, the minister was taken by surprise when the goalie confronted him with a strange request.

Sreejesh found the moment apt to request the minister to reward Birendra Lakra, the only player from Odisha in the national team.

Lakra, who was standing beside Sreejesh quietly, kept listening as Sreejesh told the Marndi to at least felicitate him since most of the state government have done so after the team’s good performance in the Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games.

The minister, visibly embarrassed after such a request promised to sort out the matter fast while the sports secretary Saswat Mishra gave the details of the plans of the government.

After a photo session, the minister announced to the media that they will felicitate Lakra with prize money most likely during the Champions trophy itself. He also said that the government was looking to hand him over a job in the police department. undefined

“We had announced a cash prize for Lakra but it could not happen due to some mistake in the bank account number. Since the team is here, we will try to felicitate him during the Champions trophy itself. We have put a proposal in front of the government in which the sports persons from the state who bring laurels at international competition will get jobs in the police department. If the proposal is approved, the players will get jobs directly without having to go through any examinations.”

After the whole episode, Lakra too expressed satisfaction at the turn of events. “It would have been nice if the government would have taken care of these matters. We are players and we only think about our game. It was nice of the minister to announce the award, ” Lakra said.

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