The relentless efforts of the Differently-abled sports enthusiasts are set to accomplish new milestones. Recently, the Differently-Abled Cricket Council of India (DCCI) has been formed, a move that could pave way for the physically challenged cricketers to play under the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) logo.
Various groups running different-abled cricket which includes the Physically Challenged Cricket Association of India, Wheelchair Cricket India Association, Indian Deaf Cricket Association have come together to form DCCI, which was needed to get BCCI recognition. Ravi Chauhan, representing the Physically Challenged Cricket Association of India, Squadron leader (Retd) Abhai Pratap Singh representing Wheelchair Cricket India Association and Sumit Jain representing IDCA decided to come together to form a common body and endeavour for the future of different-abled cricket.
So far only the Indian Men’s Cricket team and Indian Women’s cricket team is recognised by the BCCI. The dream of Differently-Abled cricket players to play with the BCCI logo and represent India in recognized International tournaments may come true very soon. Differently-Abled Cricket Council of India, an umbrella body for differently-abled cricketers will soon play under the biggest brand of cricket in India — the BCCI.
“With firm support from different groups running differently-abled cricket, the DCCI has been formed under the Karnataka Societies Registration Act,” a media release stated.
Squadron leader (Retd) Abhai Pratap Singh, Former International Wheelchair Cricketer and CEO of Wheelchair Cricket India Association while talking to Sociotab says, “ BCCI recognising the Differently-Abled Cricket Council of India will be a cricket revolution in the country. We are making history.”
“Not only it will empower the differently-abled cricketers but will also clear the fog of ambiguity which questions the authenticity of the organisation for which the players are playing. Affiliation with BCCI will give the players assurance about the future in the sports they are pursuing.”
“Nowhere in the world disability sport is played at a level as it is played in India. No other sports allow a congregation of 30 players together at one platform. It will empower more players than any other sports ever had. It is no doubt a revolution,”
“Sports acts as a tool of inclusion and integration with the mainstream for Persons with Disabilities. This will allow more Persons with Disabilities to have access to Quality Cricketing Infrastructure,” he adds.
Mahantesh GK, known for his contribution towards blind cricket, was unanimously elected as DCCI President.
It said that the suggestion came from BCCI Secretary Jay Shah in a recent meeting with all the stakeholders of disability cricket. Shah had suggested that BCCI was more eager to help in all forms of cricket including cricket for differently-abled. The Supreme Court-appointed the ‘Lodha committee’ had also recommended in its report that cricket for differently-abled should be given priority and efforts should be made to form a committee in the BCCI to run the game smoothly.
Chauhan, who was elected as DCCI Secretary, said Shah’s guidance, support and vision has led to the formation of DCCI.
“We are very thankful to the BCCI Secretary Jay Shah for continuous support and encouragement to differently-abled cricket players. With BCCI support, it can boost the cricket movement for the differently-abled cricket players,” said Mahantesh.
The release added that currently thousands of differently-abled cricket players in the country are playing without any help.
Somjeet Singh, Captain, Indian Wheelchair Cricket Team in telephonic conservation with Sociotab says, “ This comes as a ray of hope to the players who have given blood and sweat to the game in the unforeseeable future. All the hard work of the players is paying off. Our efforts are now being recognised. Not just that, it also empowers the different abled cricketers on so many levels, under BCCI we will be provided with the needful infrastructure and efforts will be made to equip the budding players with the necessary infrastructure to practice their game. This will empower different-abled people to take up the sport.”
The much-needed recognition from the biggest brand of cricket will definitely open the closed doors for the differently-abled people. It will not only empower them but also rehabilitate them and allow them to live independent and dignified lives. It will allow many more different abled cricketers to take up the sports and play for their country and represent India on an International level.