Meet the revolutionary girl, who is trying to create a history with the lovable game of Cricket.
I’m Ghazal Khan, Co-Founder & CEO of Divyang Premier League (DPL) T-20, CEO of Divyang Cricket Control Board of India, Head of Indian Wheelchair Cricket, Secretary of International Affairs of International Cricket Council for the Physically Challenged and the Executive Member of International Council of Wheelchair Cricket.
I’m the daughter of ‘Khooni, Katil & Jallad’, you might be surprised by hearing such names of my father but yes, it was the identity of my father Mr. Haroon Rasheed during his early cricket career. He was a right arm medium pacer with a deadly bowling pace which used to confuse batsmen to play and made them injured, also he had a record of breaking more than 50 stumps during the matches. That’s why he was named as ‘Khooni, Katil & Jallad’ by the batsmen of his time, but unfortunately, his cricket career ended because of an accident.
I have seen my father working for disability cricket since my childhood. He introduced proper disability cricket in India with the same leather ball, bat, field and the rules which are applied to normal cricket. He single-handedly introduced disability cricket in the neighboring countries like Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, etc and is also the founder of Wheelchair Cricket.
My father is my inspiration to work for disability cricket. During my schooling, I used to help him in drafting emails, letters, etc. so I had a good knowledge about disability cricket. In 2014 I joined my father’s organization as a volunteer, now I’m serving as CEO in DCCBI. In spite of being the daughter of the Founder and General Secretary, I struggled very hard, I faced so many failures, but I’m very proud of what I’m today.
Divyang Premier League
DPL is the only franchise-based cricket league which is planned for the Disabled Cricketers of the world similar to the Indian Premier League. During the lockdown, when everyone was locked in their homes, the news of the IPL being organized in the UAE spread happiness in India. As Cricket is the most lovable game of India, Indian Cricket fans were humbly waiting for the IPL. We also got enquiries from disabled cricketers about our plans for Disability Cricket. This was the moment when an idea to organize the Divyang Premier League in the UAE came into my father’s mind. He shared his idea with me and then we started to make a rough plan about DPL. We started to work on it and found connections to build a team capable of executing the plan. Finally, we got a contract of 1.5 Cr for organizing DPL in UAE but just 10-15 days before the inauguration ceremony date, the sponsor refused to pay. It was a shock for all of us. Players were waiting to depart for their dream tournament to the UAE. It is said that "If you have a good aim, God helps you", and exactly the same was done with us. MPL, ACE Edusports and Kamal Haasan have been messiah’s for us. With their help we organized DPL T-20 season 1 successfully at Sharjah International Stadium, Sharjah, UAE in the month of April 2021.
Now, we are working for DPL T-20 season 2 which will be held at Sharjah International Stadium, Sharjah, UAE. Season 1 was a little step, but season 2 has grown bigger with a wide project plan, in which physically challenged cricketers from all over the world are going to participate in 8 teams. As disability cricket has its own value, it not only entertains us but also inspires us to never give up. To work for the people with disabilities is such a great noble cause, it gives us satisfaction of doing something which is beneficial for our inner peace and disability cricket is something which is a complete mixture of kindness, inspiration, motivation, nobility and cricket. As a result it entertains everyone in a different way in the whole world.
With DPL T-20, we aim to provide the disability cricketers the same dignity as normal cricketers. Recently, paralympians who participated in the Tokyo Paralympics won the hearts of every Indian by winning medals. According to the census of India 2001, there are 2,19,06,769 people with disabilities. We cannot ignore such a great number of people. They also have their goals, passions and they also want to be a star, I don’t find any differences between normal people and the people with disabilities. I planned to make DPL T-20 a revolutionary blockbuster for the people with disabilities with a target to make the DPL T-20 loveable cricket league in India and the world like IPL. I know it’s very challenging but I am very faithful to the success of DPL.
“Heere ko chamka kar itihas nahin banta,
Mujhe mitti ke katron ko Kohinoor banana hai…”
We are not working for sympathy, we are working to give a platform to the rejected talent. I can see a bright vision of my physically challenged cricketers rocking on television advertisements, directors making films on them, for them to have a celebrity status, people taking autographs and clicking selfies with them. Today it is just a vision, very soon it is going to be real.
Written by Ghazal Khan, Chief Executive Officer of Divyang (Disability) Cricket Control Board of India.