5-nation int’l cricket tournament for disabled from 2 Sept

There should be no barrier to people living with disability: ICRC

22 Aug 2015, 17:08 | updated: 22 Aug 2015, 17:50

Photo: UNB

Dhaka: In most cases, people having disabilities are neglected in society but these people are ready to show their talents at the global stage through first-ever five-nation International cricket tournament to be held in Dhaka from 2-10 September.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in close partnership with the Ministry of Youth and Sports, Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) and Bangladesh Krira Shikkha Protishtan (BKSP) will host the tournament titled ‘ICRC International T20 Cricket Tournament’ for people with physical disabilities.

The participating countries are Afghanistan, Bangladesh, England, India and Pakistan, said the organizers.

The opening match between Bangladesh vs England will take place at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium on 2 September and the remaining T20 matches and the closing ceremony will be held at the BKSP.

‘There should be no barrier to people living with disability to play and enjoy the most popular sports in Bangladesh which is cricket,’ Head of Delegation, ICRC, Christine Cipolla told UNB.

She said ICRC is very thankful for the continued support that they have received from the Ministry of Youth and Sports, BCB and BKSP academy.

Mashrafe Bin Mortaza, captain of Bangladesh National Cricket Team, is already associated with this tournament as the Brand Ambassador to endorse the BCB Physically Challenged Cricket Team and thus, promote the social inclusion of People with Disabilities (PwDs) through sports participation.

Game Education Administrator of BCB M Rashed Iqbal said he has seen some talented players who could perform very well in the future. ‘It doesn’t seem that they’re people with disabilities, but they’ve ability to perform.’

Aupurba, an all-rounder of Bangladesh team, said they would be able to bring positive results for Bangladesh if they could play at their best abilities.

‘Pray for us, success will hopefully be there’ said Aupurba.

Shawon, a right-hand pacer said, ‘Once I was neglected and not given a chance to play with my friends. Had I been given a chance to play, I would have been able to prove my ability. Today, I think I can bowl well.’

He said one hand is enough to bowl well but it is a challenging as he has only one hand. ‘We can show we can play,’ an exciting spinner of Bangladesh team Sanaullah said.

ICRC Communication Delegate Michael Kifle said people with physical disabilities often face societal barriers, evoking negative perceptions and discrimination.

In Bangladesh, cricket is a recognized torchbearer at national and international level where cricket is mostly played by the able bodied players. In order to promote and support sport activities for physically disabled persons in Bangladesh, the ICRC has undertaken the initiative, said Michael Kifle.

For 2016, the ICRC Bangladesh is planning similar cricket activities for PwPDs as held in 2015 and possibly a new International Tournament, hopefully attended by more physically disabled / challenged cricket teams from other nations.

However, the ICRC and the five other participating teams are all focusing on the 2015 ICRC Cricket Tournament for People with Physical Disabilities.