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AFP
March 31, 2020

‘Police duty more stressful than WC’

Sports

AFP
March 31, 2020

NEW DELHI: Joginder Sharma bowled the key final over when India beat arch-rivals Pakistan in the first Twenty20 World Cup final in 2007, but says he faces more pressure as a police officer making sure people stay home during the coronavirus crisis.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) and others have hailed the efforts of the 36-year-old as he hits the streets of India in his role as an officer of the law. “Obviously this contribution is much bigger because people are losing their lives,” Sharma told AFP from Hisar in Haryana where he is now a superintendent.

“It was also a big thing, winning the World Cup for India, but here we have to save the nation. And even if I am playing a small part in this, then it is huge.”

Sharma has been leading a team trying to keep people off the streets during a 21-day lockdown ordered by the government to halt the spread of the virus. India has now reported 29 deaths from more than 1,000 cases, but experts believe there are many more. Thousands of people have been arrested across the country for flouting the curfew.

The ICC said Sharma had gone from World Cup hero to “real world hero” as it released a picture of the all-rounder in India cricket colours and his khaki police uniform. Sharma, who played just four One-Day Internationals and four T20 matches, said he is using cricket’s spirit of teamwork to tackle the crisis.