Winner for the fourth year running, best cricketer and Man of the Match to go with it. It's become a bit of a habit for Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav. In the annual friendly T20 match between Akhilesh Yadav's team and the IAS officers XI at La Martiniere pitch in Lucknow on Sunday, organised as part of the annual four-day meet of officers -'IAS week', Yadav's men emerged victorious again, stretching that run to four straight years.
The monotony of the result was such that it could struggle to make any headlines, but their opposition's desire to lose was comically alarming, according to an NDTV report. In one of the most open displays of IAS officers bending over for their political bosses, the officers did everything, from bowling loose deliveries to the CM to letting snail-paced shots to reach the boundary rope, and helping the CM reach a score of 65 with eleven boundaries.
In fact the Chief Minister couldn't help but thank the officers for their "sahyog" (help). "We thank them (the IAS XI) for their help and I hope that such help continues in times to come," Yadav said while accepting his award, barely able to hide his laughter. "I thank the players for the win, but I'll specially thank the Chief Secretary and his team."
After winning the toss, Akhilesh Yadav's team chose to bat and managed 127 of 20 overs, a modest target for the officers to chase.
It was a fabulous chase by the officers until the 'desired result' became too stiff to achieve. Needing 3 runs from 2 overs, the IAS XI found themselves in a tight spot. But where there is a will there is always a way. IAS XI restricted themselves to just two runs in the remaining overs, ending up on 126, and handing Akhilesh Yadav XI the win and most importantly a happy ending for both parties.
Chief Secretary Alok Ranjan, captain of IAS XI, could barely hide his amusement after the loss. "We lost a match that was in our grasp. We tried really hard, but the bowling was a bit too good towards the last few overs, which we didn't expect. That snatched victory out of our hands," the Chief Secretary said with a mischievous smile, as people giggled around him.
As it seemed losing the game was the need of the hour, getting the CM's wicket was one thing every player from the IAS XI dreaded. The reaction of the bowler who was guilty of the act was brilliantly captured in a video report of the game by NDTV, and pretty much summed up the farce.
Watch the video below: