Chandigarh, Mar 24 : The Usha Divyang Cricket League 2021, organised in association with All India Cricket Association for the Deaf (AICAD) and Deaf Cricket Federation, will begin on here on Thursday.
The 6th edition of the league will see 192 specially-abled cricketers play across three categories: visually impaired, hearing impaired, and wheelchair categories. The three-day cricket tournament for the specially-abled cricketers will be played across three venues – Sector 16, Sector 26 and Sector 19 Stadiums.
Mr K K Yadav (Secretary Sports), Mr Suresh Krishnani (Principal Chief GST Commissioner), Mr Sanjay Beniwal (Director General of Police) will be amongst the guests attending the event.
”The vision behind the league is to encourage and provide the specially-abled cricketers a platform to showcase their talent and determination. The fortitude and resilience of these specially-abled cricketers inspires us. We are extremely grateful to Usha International for supporting us on this journey right from inception. We hope to have them onboard going forward as well,” said Mr Padam Passi, Chief Organiser of the League.
The first three editions of the league, starting in 2013, were limited to the hearing impaired athletes. Exhibition matches of wheel chair enabled cricketers and visually impaired cricketers were introduced only in the 4th edition.
The 5th edition of the league witnessed four wheelchair cricket teams and two visually impaired teams participating, in addition to eight hearing impaired cricket teams.
The 6th edition of the League will have 12 teams with Wheelchair Cricketers, Blind Cricketers and Deaf Cricketers – Silent Heroes, Chenab XI, Jhelum XI, Satluj XI, Ravi XI, Beas XI, Special Lions, Tiger Eyes, Visions, Punjab Heroes, DCF XI, and Wheelers XI.Commenting on the association, Komal Mehra, Head – Sports Initiatives and Associations at Usha International, said, ”It’s commendable to see how Divyang athletes defy odds every day, especially in the current scenario of unprecedented uncertainty.
The resolve and determination of the players to rise above all the odds syncs perfectly with the resilience of our brand so there was no doubt about continuing our support.”
”I wish the athletes continue winning their way in the world, making it an inclusive and diverse one while promoting an active, healthy and socially distanced way of life,” he added.
Usha has also been a key sponsor for the Indian Deaf Cricket Team for the Deaf Cricket Asia Cup. Many of the participating players have also represented India as a part of the Indian Deaf Cricket Team and various other international tournaments.