A cricket tournament for Vedic Pandits began in Madhya Pradesh’s Bhopal on Thursday. The annual four-day cricket tournament is played to promote the language. As many as 22 cricketers took the field at the Ankur Ground on January 5, wearing traditional Indian attire, Dhoti and Kurtas to commence the ‘Maharshi Cup.’

It is worth highlighting that commentators also described the happenings of the cricket match in the Sanskrit language while the umpires and players also conversed in the same lingo. A video of the commentary from this cricket tournament has been shared by news agency ANI.

Take a look:

Notably, this is the third edition of the Maharshi Cup and other than promoting the language, the competition aims to promote the spirit of sportsmanship among the Vedic family. Other than cash prizes for the teams that do well in the cricketing event, players will receive Vedic books and a 100-year panchang, as per a PTI report.

Teams from several Vedic institutions are participating in the four-day tournament.

Only 0.00198 per cent of India’s total population speak Sanskrit: Census 2011

Last year a video had gone viral on social media in which a boy was commentating in Sanskrit during a gully cricket match. The clip had even caught the attention of India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi who retweeted the video saying, “This is heartening to see…Congrats to those undertaking this effort. During one of the #MannKiBaat programmes last year I had shared a similar effort in Kashi. Sharing that as well.”

Even though such efforts are being made to keep the ancient Indian language alive, as per the data in the 2011 census only 24,821 people have registered Sanskrit as their mother tongue. Overall, only 0.00198 per cent of India’s total population spoke Sanskrit as per the last Census and it would be interesting what numbers suggest when the next census takes place.

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