Wheelchair Cricket India (WCI) is a non-profit registered organisation which aims to provide a platform for wheelchair users to live an equal and independent life. Recently, WCI hosted a Wheelchair Cricket National Camp from March 16th to March 20th, which included a three-match series between India A and India B teams on the last two days of the camp. The final day of the camp on the 20th witnessed some exciting cricket action as the two Indian teams clashed for the finale. Both squads included 12 players each, with Somjeet Singh and Veer Singh Sandhu captaining India A and India B respectively. After winning the toss, Veer with a strong bowling line up consisting of Aftab Ansari and Gulshan Kumar elected to field first, which proved to be the right decision in the end. India A managed to achieve a total of 165 runs in 20 overs. After losing top-batsman Poshan early on, a mature inning by Sahil of 50 runs in 44 balls gave some fighting chances to the team. But the ever-reliable star, Rohit Anotra displayed an exhilarating performance of 49 runs in just 23 balls. He was the only batsman to hit a smashing six on Umesh’s ball, but unfortunately got bowled on the very next delivery at 49 runs. The run chase was completed brilliantly by a stellar partnership between Munuswamy and Prashant Singh, with the latter finishing off the game with a boundary off the last delivery of the 19th over.
The closing ceremony saw all the players receive medals from the Chief guests. Maj. Gen. Dilawar Singh (Chief Advisor of Association for Disabled People), Maj. Neel, owner of (City Hawks Sports Complex), Mr S.K. Bansal (former BCCI umpire) and Mr Praveen Tewatia (MARCOS Commando and Hero of the 26/11 attacks) graced the match with their presence. No surprises, but the accolades for “Man of the Match” for the final and “Player of the Tournament” went to Rohit Anotra. Poshan from India A took the prize for the “Best Batsmen of the Tournament”, while Aftab Ansari from India B won “Best Bowler”. Last but not the least, Gulshan Kumar won the title for “Best Fielder”, with his 3 run-out dismissals in the final match helping his cause. The ceremony was concluded with Veer and his team India B lifting the winning trophy.
Pradeep Raj, Founder General Secy. WCI said “Players have been stuck at home without camps or practice due to the unfortunate pandemic for more than a year. This camp is the start of unlocking for the wheelchair players and help build up their skills and also bring in new talent.”
CEO of WCI Sqn. Ldr. Abhay Pratap Singh quoted “We are ready to take wheelchair cricket to the next level. With this camp, it’s officially the start of the new season for the players.”
In the camp, 5 players were selected from Punjab for the Wheelchair India Cricket team which includes - Veer Singh Sandhu, Rohit Anotra, Vikram Singh, Raja and Nirmal Singh.
The event has served as an excellent opportunity to provide needful coverage and attention to the wheelchair players which they deserve. It has been a great morale booster for the athletes and for the team behind the event. The camp has set the course for another milestone in the history of wheelchair cricket in India.