Rourkela Cricket

Rourkela, the steel city located in the northern part of the state Odisha (formerly Orissa), India, was once the sporting hub of the state, as the first Integrated Steel Plant of the Country, Rourkela Steel Plant, recruited the best of talents in different disciplines from the state and outside to promote sports in a huge way. With this came a big bunch of highly talented cricketers, who formed the bulk of the Orissa Ranji team playing first class cricket. Cricketers like Late Dr. L I Parija, Shri H K Roychoudhary, Shri A.P Mohanty, Dr. Sanjay Satpathy, Late Shri Babu Rao, Late Shri H M Praharaj, Shri R N Panda, Shri Somnath Sahu, Shri Anil Bharadwaj, Shri Karun Dubey, Shri Randhir Singh, Shri Ranjit Sikdar, Shri Debashis Mohanty(Sr.), Shri Asjit Jayprakasham, Shri Panna Lal Bose, Shri Avinash Khatua to name a few, were a huge inspiration for the budding cricketers of the city.

Vibrancy in Rourkela cricket came with the advent of club cricket in the late 70’s when various cricket clubs in different sectors were formed. The major clubs being the W.Y.C SEC-16, SHAKTI SEC- 13, RYMA SEC-7, LIONS CLUB SEC-18, EVERGREEN SEC-2, TEXANS OLD RKL, BHARTI SANGHA SEC-17 AND RISINGS SEC-20 name a few. Local cricketers found a place to play and practice cricket. Many inter club tournaments were also organized which gave a platform to local cricketers to showcase their skill and grade up to play for two teams viz., Rourkela Steel Plant and Sundargarh district in the inter district tournaments of the Odisha Cricket Association. This was virtually “THE GOLDEN PERIOD OF ROURKELA CRICKET”. Many local cricketers graded up to play for ODISHA and brought laurels for Rourkela.

Rourkela Gymkhana

In 1986, two of the big clubs in the city, “BHARTI SANGH”, Sector 17 and “LIONS CLUB”, Sector 18 decided to merge together to form “ROURKELA GYMKHANA”, a strong team comprising of stalwarts as well as talented youngsters. Thus began a journey of building a rich cricketing legacy and in due course of time has clinched a niche for itself in the folklore of Odisha Cricket. With no sponsors and support from any external agencies, club had to fend for itself for its existence; which in turn was a huge motivation for the cricketers of the club to win tournaments and generate funds from the cash prizes won. This process naturally resulted in a motivated group of cricketers who wanted to excel, creating an atmosphere of leadership, responsibility and camaraderie and sportsman spirit. Winning tournaments became a habit and with it came the opportunities for the young talents of the city to showcase their skill in the very competitive atmosphere of club cricket, inside as well as outside the state.

For the last 28 years, the club based in Sector 18, Rourkela Steel Township, has been the breeding ground of highly talented cricketers, who has gone on to represent Rourkela Steel Plant, different districts, state and even the country. Under the leadership of former cricketer and Coach Shri Ashok Singh, the club has won hundreds of major and minor tournaments. To continue this legacy, it was decided to form a trust in the year 2014 (registered with competent authorities in Rourkela, Odisha); a non profit organisation to promote and nurture the talents pool of budding cricketers in the vicinity of Rourkela and nearby areas. The club is launching the first of its kind Cricket Academy in the state of Odisha shortly. With the intention of philanthropy, the former cricketers as well as qualified Coaches like R Srikanth (BCCI, Level C High Performance Coach), Ashok Singh (OCA Level 1) will be imparting state-of-the art coaching for the aspiring youngsters, for which the necessary infrastructure is being prepared. The Club is also involved in organising community service activities like tree plantations, charity work in orphanage homes etc.