A king who put off his coronation to play cricket!
A return to roots, multisports acumen and a star coach — Manipur’s cricket team is filled with heartfelt stories.
Homecomings are always special. Shelley Shaurya left Imphal for Delhi when he was three. He honed his craft at the Madan Lal Academy at the Siri Fort Sports Complex that was built for the 19■2 Asian Games, even representing the capital in domestic Twenty20 cricket. Twentytwo years later, his roots pulled him back to where he was born.
At Imphal’s Luwangpokpa Stadium in the last week of August, as Ma
nipur’s cricketers prepared for their maiden season of domestic cricket, Shaurya shadowed the boundary line. He’d just landed and hadn’t had time to change. His black tee and denims drew looks on the greens.
“Are you a bowler?” Thoudam Akshaykumar Singh, the side’s seniormost player, asked.
“Yes, I am a medium pacer. I came here for an introduction since I don’t know the players,” Shaurya replied.
Later, at an interaction chaired by Manipur Cricket Association honorary secretary Singam Priyobrata Singh and Tommy
Thingom, its general man