The tournament will feature cricketers from five countries © Getty Images
The tournament will feature cricketers from five countries © Getty Images (representational image)

Bangladesh is organising a T20 tournament for disabled cricketers from Sepetember 2 to September 10 for a period of nine days. It will include players from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and England. The first match will be played between Bangladesh and England on September 2 at 11am local time. Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the event at Mirpur Sher-e-Bangla Cricket Stadium in Dhaka (Bangladesh capital). International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) chief said that Bangladesh is very proud to host the tournament. This tournament will help to bring on surface the problems of physically handicapped people and do its bit for social integration. Bangladesh’s National Cricket League cleared of match-fixing cloud

Dr Nafeesur Rahman, director of the National Forum of Organisations Working with the Disabled, said in a conversation with, “It is the celebration of [their] disability.” Meanwhile Md Shafiq-ul Islam, executive director of the decades-old Centre for the Rehabilitation of the Paralysed (CRP) added, “It’s a huge confidence-building measure.” According to Bangladesh’s census around 10 per cent of the nation’s populace has some kind of handicap i.e. around 16 million people. According to CRP unsafe working conditions usually lead to injuries and physical harm. Many a times people try to climb trees and fall from it leading to disabilities. READ: Pakistan’s Matloob Qureshi: Disabled cricketers can achieve anything if they believe in themselves

In 2013 Bangladesh government enacted a disability act although the act has not lived up to its expectations and the goals that the establishment wanted to achieve. According to Rahman,“We can say a big change has already started occurring [beacuse of awareness and social initiatives by NGOs]. Only better days are ahead. Once implemented, the disability act will bring about a lot of change. Perceptions are also changing. More parents are coming forward with their children with disabilities. We can feel that they have frustration. But they are not hiding the condition of their children,” READ: Disabled cricketers from Pakistan, England set to play in bilateral series

Talking of the tournament Rahman said, “Generally, cricket means you have to be physically very fit. But they shown that they can play the same game with their disabilities. Cricket is very popular among us, so this tournament will serve as a huge tool for social inclusion. This [feeling] will definitely boost their confidence. At the same time, it’ll set a stage for future actions for the cause of disabilities. The whole issue will draw serious attention through cricket.” Shakib Al Hasan urges Bangladesh U-16 football team to beat India