The Divyang Cricket Association of Madhya Pradesh, under the aegis of the Divyang Cricket Control Board of India organized the first national Divyang Cricket tournament at the sports ground of Ramakrishna Group of Institute Satna. The event was organized alongside Ratnesh Pandey Foundation, Sandeep Rajak – Disability Commissioner of Madhya Pradesh, Uttam Banerjee – Senior Social Worker, Dr. Sanjay Maheshwari – Director Birla Hospital, Ishwar Pandey – International Cricketer and Rajesh Kaila played the role of the co-sponsor of the event.
Cricket teams featuring disabled participants from four states in India, namely Jammu and Kashmir, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh took part in a three day competition which began on December 17th and ended on the 19th. A total of 70 national and international cricketers were given a platform to showcase their talent and the competition also featured match referees, umpires, scorers and groundsmen who were also handicapped. Despite the physical handicap of many cricketers, the participants overcame their limitations to play the sport at a good standard across the five matches. International umpires Nagendra Singh, Yogesh Shinde and Mohsin Khan officiated in all matches.
The final was played between Jammu and Kashmir and Gujarat in which Gujarat won the toss and elected to bat, setting a target of 145 runs in 20 overs. Jammu and Kashmir, who had displayed fantastic performances throughout the tournament, could only score 102 runs. The winners – Gujarat received ₹41000 in prize money while second place Jammu and Kashmir received ₹31000 and ₹15000 was given to the Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh team.
Ghazal Khan, CEO of DCCBI said that spectators were fascinated by the grit and determination from the disabled cricketers which prompted spectators to come from far away places. Since 2007, the Divyang Cricket Control Board of India has been working towards giving disabled cricketers recognition and respect which would be at par with normal cricketers. The DCCBI has already organized many cricketing tournaments in both India and abroad, resulting in the Indian cricket team for the Physically Challenged playing 96 international cricket matches in different countries across the world with 85 wins. With the help of the corporate sector, the disabled cricketers will get the platform to showcase their talents and it will help bring about a much needed change in the cricketing landscape.