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Wonderland game to debut at Kalinga stadium

- India set to play part in reviving quaint croquet, a dying English-origin sport

Bhubaneswar, Nov. 21: India is playing its part in reviving golf croquet, an English-origin sport that was highlighted in Lewis Caroll’s Alice in Wonderland and included in the 1900 Olympics.

The first National Croquet Coaching Camp and Championship will be hosted in Bhubaneswar in January.

This was announced by the Odisha Croquet and Gateball Association on Wednesday.

Croquet combines physical exercise as well as strategy and brain-play and can be played by both men and women of all ages.

The World Croquet Federation, the apex governing body for the sport, is making an effort to re-include it in the Olympics. It is now being played by people in England, USA, Australia and France.

To promote and popularise the sport in India, the Odisha Croquet and Gateball Association, under the auspices of the Croquet Federation of India, is hosting the first National Croquet Coaching Camp and Championship at Kalinga Stadium in the city from January 5 to 8.

“The coaching camp will be held on January 5 and 6 while the championship will be held over the next two days. More than 150 players from 20 states will take part in the event. They will be coached by Darby Underhill from Geneva and Klim Seabright from London of the World Croquet Federation,” said executive president of Croquet Federation of India, Manoranjan Mishra.

Sportspersons of the state who wish to learn croquet are welcome to take part in the event, said Mishra.

“The sport is a competition between two teams of four players each. The rules are very interesting and the sport tests the players’ ability to think. During the camp, we will be training interested candidates. Ten of these players will be chosen for the international training session to be held in London in April,” said Mishra.