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     Volume 2 Issue 1 | January 6, 2007 |


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Behind the Scene

From Mymensingh
Ram Chand Goala: Portrait of a Life-Long Cricketer
Aminl Islam

Mynensingh district is well-known for various reasons. Its contribution to producing talents in different sectors including sports since the British regime has brightened the name of the district. Many cricketing talents were born here who enriched the game by their great devotion to it. Many of them passed away but a few are alive, still inspiring and grooming the younger generations of players. Ram Chand Goala, 67, a lifelong bachelor popularly known as Goalaji, still amazes the young generations with his cricketing talents.

He started playing cricket when he was in school and gradually established himself as a national level cricket player through his hard labour and sincere commitment to the game. Ram Chand played for various reputed clubs in Mymensingh and Dhaka displaying his talented performances in cricket successfully. He retired from the game having enjoyed it to his heart's content. The honour which he received from his audience and fans is something Goalaji holds very dear to his heart. The ever energetic Goalaji refuses to sit idle even at this age. He loves to run in the fields with youngsters for as long as he can and coaches the young cricket lovers in his locality without any financial involvement. He serves as the coach for various local clubs and organizations including Abahoni, Mohammedan, Pandit Para, Al-Helal voluntarily. He now serves as the coach of District Cricket Team, Under-14 and Under-18 teams, organized by Mymensingh District Sports Association.

Born on September 16, 1940 at Brahmapalli in the district town, Ram Chand passed his Matriculation examination from Mritunjoy school in 1956 and later passed his Intermediate examination from Gouripur College in Gouripur upazila. Ram Chand started playing cricket and football as captain of his school team. Due to financial crisis, he was forced to leave education after passing Intermediate level and joined Mymensingh Zila Parishad and Collectorate as a player in 1962 to earn his bread. Goala later started his professional mission for Panditpara Club in the district town where he spent his youth. He founded local Abahoni Krira Chakra in 1981 to facilitate the youngsters. He played for different clubs in Dhaka for over 20 years. He played a regular player of Abahoni Krira Chakra for 12 years from 1981 to 1993. He also coached local Mohammedan Sporting Club for ten years.A left-hand leg spinner and a left-hand batsman, Goalaji has played with nationally and internationally reputed players like Raqibul Hasan, Gazi Ashraf Hossain Lipu, Jahagir Shah Badsha, Shamim Kabir, Dulatuzzaman, Sadrul Anam, Jalal Yunus, Naumur Rahman Durjoy, National Team Captain Minhazul Abedin Nannu, Javed Omar Belim and Habibul Bashar Sumon. He continued his playing till he was 53 years old. His inclusion in the national team at the age of 43 was astonishing for all. He proved that if a man had concrete aim with proper prespective and worked hard to achieve that, he could surely be successful in his mission.

Goala was selected as best player by Krira Lekhak Samity in Dhaka and Mymensingh units in 1998, for his talented performance in the game. He was also honoured by the Committee of Inaugural Test Match between Bangladesh and India in 2000. He appreciates the government's move to search players of different age groups throughout the country. “If such trends continue along with government efforts, surely it would bring a hopeful result for the nation in future”, says Ram Chand.

“If any club needs me, I rush there without thinking what they will pay for the job”, said Goala, a very simple man in his life style. He also coached the under-15 and under-17 teams of the district last year and has been successful in producing national level cricketers who have earned name and fame at home and abroad.

His grandson Prangon Ghosh is being coached by Goala. Prangon was selected by clubs in Dhaka for his high performace and has taken a tour in India as a member of the Under-16 national team to play three one dayers and two test matches with the host side in 2003. Prangon, a top order batsman and right arm spinner, now plays for Dhanmondi Club in Dhaka. He passed his HSC examination this year and wants to continue with his studies alongside cricket to keep his grandfather's hopes alive.

In Ram Chand's opinion, one-day cricket has made cricket a more popular game among the common people throughout the world. Now the cricketers get sponsors from various national and multi-national companies. “This is necessary to keep the players in the field. If the players are well-paid, they will be more attentive to their profession for a better performance”, says Goala.

“However, due to lack of sufficient number of playing grounds and proper justification in selecting players, many sporting talents are deprived of their due recognition which is not a good sign for any form of sports in the country”, he adds. He demands to have more playing grounds and indoor stadiums at every district to continue the game all year round.

Every afternoon, Goala rushes to the local Circuit House ground to enjoy the game with his boys by coaching them. “I want stay alive in the field forever through my boys”, Goala said in an emotion choked voice. He spends his leisure mostly at home reading newspapers and making merriments with his grandchildren. Goala thinks that he has gained a lot more from the game of cricket than what he contributed to the game and that is what satisfies him the most. Mira Ghosh, a niece of Goala, who has been working in an NGO says that they are all happy for her uncle Goala as he has earned name and fame for himself and his family. “We take pride in his significant achievements in cricket,” adds a smiling Mira.


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