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Once A Ranji Player, Now A Leading Police Officer 

An IPS officer of 2009 batch, Mr. Pankaj Choudhary made headlines when he called out the discrepancies in Rajasthan Public Service Commission (RPSC). Saddened by the decline of the authoritarian body, the officer even offered to take VRS if given a chance to revive it. This was not the first time when he came forward to offer his service. The officer is known for locking horns with anybody who does not abide by the rules. He is currently serving as the SP, Community Policing, and Commandant, SDRF (State Disaster Response Fund), Rajasthan. 

Besides being an efficient police officer, there is another unknown side of him. Before joining the Indian Police Service, he was a cricketer. Not only did he play for Uttar Pradesh in the Ranji Trophy, he also captained many teams, too. Now, he is heading the Rajasthan Police cricket team and has led them to win tournaments after a gap of around 18 years. 

LEADING ON BOTH FRONTS

Last year a two-year-old boy had fallen into a borewell in Sikar. After a 26-hour operation, the SDRF team rescued him safely. This is just one instance. In the last one year, the SDRF team of Rajasthan, under the leadership of Mr. Choudhary, had saved more than seven thousand people in various natural and man-made disasters. Whether it was the recent flood in Jalore or the lightning strike in Ajmer, SDRF team is always there for the rescue. 

Though it’s a new wing in Rajasthan police department, with a strict SOP and demo sessions in collaboration with schools and universities, the SDRF team has already won the trust of the public. 

While this team is creating records in safeguarding people and managing disasters, it has also been doing wonders in various cricket tournaments. Speaking with Indian Masterminds, Mr. Choudhary said that Rajasthan Police last played cricket in 2005. Since the time he has led the SDRF in the state, it has been filled with youngsters which gave him a chance to put together a cricket team which won back-to-back tournaments, including Medical and Collector cups.  

CRICKET WASN’T HIS DESTINY 

During his Intermediate and universities days, Mr. Choudhary was a very active cricket player. He even reached till Ranji, which is a dream for many. However, he didn’t continue in that field and make his career out of cricket and instead made it to one of the most respected services in the country. 

Sharing a very interesting story about how he ended up in IPS, the officer said, “While I was pursuing my graduation, I was also playing cricket and was the captain of the university team. One of my seniors who was popular for his palm reading and astrology told me that I won’t go far in cricket and my destiny lies in academics.” Somehow, this stuck in his mind and slowly he distanced himself from cricket. After completing his engineering, he joined a private firm and, over the years, his destiny led him to civil services. 

The officer still believes that if he was not an IPS officer, he would have been a cricketer only. Maybe, he would have continued in that field in the role of a coach but he would have been definitely associated with the game.

BEING CAPTAIN 

Before joining the IPS in Rajasthan cadre, he had also cracked the UPPCS exam. In UPSC CSE 2009, he was eligible for IAS with his rank but IPS had always been his first preference. Not only did the work of a police officer and khaki attracted him, but he wanted to remain a ‘captain’ always. 

“I am from Uttar Pradesh, and there, the SP of any district is called a captain. I thought, if not the captain in cricket, I can be a captain in police. So, this was also a reason for me to be in police,” he said. 

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