Parasports November 12, 2020
Physically challenged cricketers to play 2-day tournament to mark World Disability Day
The Physically Challenged Cricket Association of India (PCCAI) and International Celebrity Cricket League (ICCL) is organising a two-day cricket tournament called HAP CUP to mark the International Day of Persons with Disability this December.
Physically challenged cricketers from five states will get to display their skills this December for the first time since the coronavirus lockdown.
The event is the HAP CUP organised by the Physically Challenged Cricket Association of India (PCCAI) in partnership with the International Celebrity Cricket League (ICCL) Australia.
The two-day event on 3- December, is to celebrate the International Day of People with Disability. The aim is to spread the message of happiness and promote the importance of working towards an inclusive society.
Players from 5 states
Forty-two players from five states – Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu-Kashmir, and Rajasthan – will take part in the tournament, which will be held in Dhwani, Haryana. There will be two day matches and two in the night.
We are holding this event to motivate our physically challenged cricketers who have been practicing right through the lockdown. They will get to experience the thrill of entering a stadium after a long time. The event is also being held to honour the people who supported the players during the lockdown. – Ravi Chauhan, General Secretary, Physically Challenged Cricket Association of India
As a tribute the physically challenged cricketers will be divided into three teams – Harley XI Masters, Anand XI Stars and Praveen XI Heroes.
Team Harley is named after Harley Medcalf, Managing Director, Duet Entertainment and Sports. Harley along with former Australian cricket captain Steve Waugh helped organise a fundraiser on Facebook to support the cricketers. Team Anand is named after Anand Chukka, who works on a global platform to support an inclusive society. A passion shared by Praveen Nalla, Partner, ICCL, after whom the third team is named.
“We are aware of the risks of playing during the pandemic so all precautions will be observed”, says Chauhan. The players will not be allowed to leave their lodging five days before the event to ensure they stay safe.
Playing during pandemic
Mohammed Nadeem, Captain, Jammu & Kashmir Physically Challenged Cricket Team, is not too worried about the infection. “I have been practising regularly and I am not bothered as fitness is important to fight the virus. It’s been over two years since I played at a major event and I am excited”.
Gurmeet Singh Dhiman from Himachal Pradesh admits to some nervousness about playing amidst the pandemic. “I have not told my family that I am going yet because they will worry needlessly. I am a little concerned as cases are rising in the winter, but I do not want to miss this opportunity. The last match I played was just before the lockdown”.
For Haryana’s Anil Chokkhar, the virus is no cause for concern. “Cricket is my passion, and I am happy for any opportunity to play the game”.