A team of physically challenged Tigers
Senior Correspondent, bdnews24.com
Published: 2015-08-24 10:30:28.0 BdST Updated: 2015-08-25 00:34:14.0 BdST
Cricket crazy Bangladesh is used to a team of brave, able bodied players who have upset many a fancied team.
But Bangladesh has now formed a cricket team with players suffering disabilities.
The ‘BCB Physically Challenged Cricket Team’ will represent the country in the upcoming first-ever five-nation T20 tournament in Dhaka.
Organised by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), India, Pakistan, England and Afghanistan will join Bangladesh to fight for winning the tournament that begins from Sep 2.
The team has been formed through a talent hunt camp that followed a series of events.
The ICRC details how the team was formed to promote and support sport activities for the physically handicapped in Bangladesh.
In 2013, the ICRC supported the Centre for the Rehabilitation of the Paralyzed (CRP) with the creation of a cricket team for physically challenged people to play against the Disabled Sporting Society (DSS) of India.
In the same year, the ICRC supported the CRP Savar again in organising a three-day Indo-Bangla Physical Disabled Cricket Tournament.
The tournament was held from Mar 17 to Mar 20 in Bangladesh between the Disabled Sporting Society of India and the CRP Disabled Cricket Team.
Last year, the CRP Cricket Team for Physical Disabled Persons, Bangladesh Physical Challenged Disabled Association, and Physically-challenged Development Foundation (PDF) took initiatives to promote cricket for such persons.
Throughout 2014, the ICRC held discussions with the Bangladesh Krira Shikkha Protishtan (BKSP), the Paralympics, the Special Olympics and the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB).
In November, the ICRC facilitated the first-ever national seminar on Cricket for Physically Disabled Persons and training workshop for players and coaches with disability.
The Bangladesh Cricket Board, the British High Commission and the England and Wales Cricket Board helped organise the event.
Physically challenged cricketers, coaches, officials, physiotherapists and other interested persons learned about cricket for people with disabilities.
Then in February this year, the ICRC provided equipment required for playing cricket to five top most academic institutions created and supervised by Physically-Challenged Development Foundation (PDF) and the CRP.
In March, the ICRC organised a ‘Talent Hunt Camp’ to identify 26 physically handicapped cricketers among 149 participants to represent Bangladesh in a five-nation international tournament.
During the talent hunt camp, the selection criteria was finalised.
The ICRC says upper or lower limb amputation, club feet, weakness in upper or lower limb, mild to moderate cerebral palsy, nerve injury, and post fracture compilation were some of the disabilities players were living with.
It says wheelchair-using cricketer can be part of domestic or regional cricket team but for now would not be able to take part in this international tournament.
“Criteria to be selected as a Physical Disabled Cricketer would depend on his physical ability to play cricket being disrupted or hampered by his disability.”
The ICRC says the 20-strong team finally selected is currently practising at a training camp in BKSP, Savar, and that will continue until the tournament starts.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is expected to inaugurate the tournament at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Mirpur.
Bangladesh’s first internet newspaper bdnews24.com is the media partner of this unique event that would promote the social inclusion of the people living with disabilities.
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