Dream comes true for many physically challenged
Nurul Islam Hasib, bdnews24.com
Published: 2015-08-27 21:06:32.0 BdST Updated: 2015-08-27 21:25:51.0 BdST
It is a dream come true for Apurba Kumar Paul.
People with disabilities who became famous were his source of inspiration since childhood as he was born with the deformed twisted right leg.
The 23 years old student of Rajshahi University is now all set to play the first-ever international cricket tournament for the physically challenged people.
“It’s prestigious for me to represent Bangladesh,” Paul, an all-rounder of the team, told bdnews24.com on Thursday.
Bangladesh Cricket Board’s (BCB) Physically Challenged Cricket Team will represent the country in the five-nation T20 tournament beginning from Sept 2 in Dhaka.
India, Pakistan, England, and Afghanistan will feature in the nine-day tournament organised by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). bdnews24.com is the media partner of the event.
The team has been selected through a talent hunt camp that followed a series of events.
Paul thanked the ICRC for this chance to play international cricket.
“I never felt I would not be able to do anything. I loved cricket and so I dreamt to be a player. I used to watch international matches and play with my seniors at school.
“But they discouraged me as I have a kind of physical disability. I told them I want to play. Then they inspired me.
“But I knew whatever dream I have, I cannot play for the national cricket team. But now I became a part of Bangladesh cricket team. I’ll represent my country,” he said.
At least 10 percent of Bangladesh’s total population have disabilities in some form, according to reliable data.
The ICRC says the tournament is aimed to promote the social inclusion of the people living with disabilities and reduce the stigma and discrimination associated with the condition.
Mohammad Sanaullah who cannot do anything with his right hand since birth cannot explain his feelings in language.
“I am very happy. I cannot tell you how much happy I am,” the 25-year old left arm spinner of the team said.
He said he used to dream to be a cricketer since 2003 at the inspiration of his older brothers at the home district Narayanganj.
“People always judge me by my disability. But now I showed them I can,” the confident Sanaullah said.
Mohammad Shaon Mahmud is also proud to be a part of the team to represent Bangladesh.
He lost his left arm in a sugarcane mill accident in 2009.
“I used to play cricket. But after the accident it seems everything stopped. Now I am happy that I can play,” he told bdnews24.com.
A student of Kushtia Islamic University, Mahmud is a paceman in the team.
International tournament for the disabled crickets is different than the way it is played in national domestic circuits.
Wheelchair-using cricketer can be part of this international tournament. The selection depends on the physical ability to play cricket being affected by disability.
The format is similar to cricket played by able bodied players.
The Bangladesh team is currently practising at a training camp in BKSP, Savar where all the matches except the inaugural one will take place.
Host Bangladesh will face England in the opener.
Game Education Administrator Rashed Iqbal who is training the players at BKSP is “optimistic”.
“We have shortlisted 18 players . Of them 10 are batsmen including two batting all-rounder, and four pacers and four spinners. The final team will be selected shortly,” he told bdnews24.com.
“When they play, they play so seriously that you’ll not recognise them as disabled. You’ll be surprised to see the way they play. They are very serious.
“I am optimistic we’ll play better cricket,” the trainer said.
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