THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Making the capital city and the state proud, Thiruvananthapuram youngster Akhil A L has been called up to the Indian national rollball team that will participate in the Fourth Rollball World Cup 2017 scheduled to be held in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Akhil is the only player from Kerala to be part of the national team for the World Cup to be held from February 17 to 24 in the Bangladesh capital where 700 players from 45 countries are expected to compete.
After defeating Iran 6-4 in the final of the 2015 World Cup held in Pune, India will look to defend their world title in the tournament organised by the International Rollball Federation. India are two-time champions while Denmark won the inaugural edition.
This will be Akhil’s second World Cup having played and scored in 2015 final. “It is a great opportunity to play for my country. The camp has gone really well and we will be leaving for Dhaka on Wednesday,” said Akhil from Balewadi Sports Complex in Pune.
Apart from the 2015 World Cup, the 21-year-old was also part of the team that won the South Asian Rollball Championship held at Dhaka in 2014 defeating Pakistan in the final.
He is being coached by A Nazar at the Central Stadium here. “He has been selected from 65 players from across the country. He is a good talent, but the game and its players are yet to get proper recognition in India,” said Nazar.
Akhil took to the sport while studying in seventh standard in Sree Ramakrishna Samskarika Samithi School at Nettayam. “It was my classmate and state rollball player Aravind Krishna who first told me about the game,” said Akhil. “I went to watch a training session with him and began to like the game. That is how I got into the game,” said Akhil, who completed his schooling from Government City Vocational Higher Secondary School, PMG.
He was earlier awarded Rs 1 lakh to participate in the national camp held prior to the world championships. Akhil is the son of Anil Kumar and Neelima of Chithra Nagar, Vattiyoorkavu.
Akhil is the third Keralite to represent India in rollball after Deekshit V Paleecha of Kozhikode and Manoj Neelakantan of Thiruvananthapuram.