SACHIN TENDULKAR COMES TO RESCUE OF WHEELCHAIR CRICKET TEAM, PROVIDES FINANCIAL AID FOR BANGLADESH TOUR
Sachin Tendulkar has come to the rescue of wheelchair cricketers of India, organising them air tickets and financial support. During a recent tour of Bangladesh, where the Indian wheelchair team played a bilateral threematch series against the hosts, the players and organisers had to run from pillar to post for financial aid before the Master Blaster extended a timely helping hand.
“We’re immensely grateful to Sachin. But for him, it would have been difficult for us to undertake the tour,” said Pradeep Raj, who started the wheelchair cricket in India. The team returned to Delhi to a rousing reception on May 9 after beating Bangladesh 2-0 in the three match series.
“Sachin’s help has come to our rescue in many ways. Immediately, the financial support has helped us pull off the tour which could have materialised without it. In future it could help us further,” said Pradeep, who had previously organised the wheelchair premier League with 16 states in participation.
Pradeep made it a point to emphasise that there has, however, been no help from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) or International Cricket Council (ICC).
Wheelchair cricket is like normal cricket with 11players on the field with virtually same rules but smaller boundaries (45 metres). The Indian team comfortably won the second game after the first game was washed out. The third and final match became a close affair with India winning by 10 runs.
On the team’s return to Delhi, Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Kishan Pal Gurjar received the 19-member squad at the IGI Airport and another Union Minister, Thawarchand Gehlot, invited the team to Shastri Bhawan.
Pradeep, who actually started wheelchair cricket in India, thanked Sachin for the pep talk he gave to the players before they left for Bangladesh and felt his association with the game can go a long way in galvanising the sport in India.
Courtesy : Mumbai Mirror