Cricket for a Cause

Charity match at CMC will support cricket for physically challenged

Come March 18, the Oval, Christian Medical College’s (CMC) sports ground at Bagayam, will host a charity cricket match. The CMC XI team will play the Challengers Cricket Club for the Disabled (CCC) India XI team in a Twenty20 format game.

The charity cricket match — Ida S. Scudder Challengers Trophy 2017 — will go on to support cricket for physically challenged persons in India.

The funds raised through the match will support the treatment of children with cancer at CMC and help children with disabilities to pursue education, according to Hugh Skeil, manager, Development of CMC Hospital.

“The Development Office has been organising events to raise funds to support poor patients at the hospital. The cricket match will also raise the profile of cricket for physically challenged persons,” he told reporters on Tuesday.

While entry to the game is free, he said that people can donate at the event by buying coupons that will be available at the entrance. “We are inviting schools, colleges and public to come and watch the game,” he said. The inauguration will be at 1.30 p.m., followed by the match at 2 p.m.

  1. Mohammed Shareef, founder of Challengers Cricket Club for the Disabled and former captain of India team of All India Cricket Association for the Physically Challenged, said the team had earlier played two charity matches with Rotary Club and Madras South Round Table 39 in Chennai.

“We played against normal players, and won three of the four matches. Our team members are physically challenged, with disability of a minimum 40%,” he said. They had also organised a trophy in Hyderabad in 2015 with teams from Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

“We are planning for an international tournament among India, Afghanistan and Bangladesh teams comprising players with disabilities this year,” he said.

Fight for recognition

He added that in other countries such as Pakistan and Bangladesh, the cricket teams for persons with disabilities were supported by the respective cricket boards.

“But in India, BCCI has not recognised the disabled team. We have been requesting and fighting for recognition and affiliation for 10 years. If we are recognised by BCCI, we will get infrastructure and funding to support players,” he said.

He added that they were unable to hold international games for want of sponsors. The players in India XI team were aged 22 to 30 years and were from different parts of the country such as Uttarakhand, Delhi, Jharkhand and Tamil Nadu.

CMC’s Oval Ground was the location for one of India’s earliest para sports competition for the physically challenged in 1960s. This was initiated by Mary Varghese, found of the Rehabilitation Institute and known as the “wheelchair surgeon”, Mr. Skeil added.

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