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Saturday, 29 November 2014

Ready for a Challenge Even Without Basic Facilities - Bangaluru

The Karnataka physically challenged cricket team is back in action this December, with a much-awaited series.

The team will also conduct open trials at Dharwad, where anybody can go and test their chances

KSPCCA (Karnataka State Physically Challenged Cricket Association) is going to host a bilateral cricket tournament, starting from December 11 to 14 at Dharwad SDM College ground, where the Karnataka physically challenged cricket team will play against the Himachal Pradesh physically challenged cricket team.

"The Himachal Pradesh team has already hosted us twice in their state. We figured it was time to extend the invitation for them to come here as well," says Vijaykant Tiwari, captain of the Karnataka physically challenged cricket team. The series will feature 3 ODI matches and one T20 match.

The team will also conduct open trials at Dharwad on December 10, where anybody who wants to play with the team can go and test their chances. The team will also participate in the south zone tournament taking place at Vizag between December 4 and 7.

"This will give us adequate practice for the Dharwad series. Himachal Pradesh is quite a strong team, with one of the cricketers being a national level player as well. Winning this series is very important to us," says Vijaykant.

However, the team is yet to receive even the most basic facilities.

"Our players are spread across Karnataka. When they come to Bengaluru or other places to play matches, their salaries get cut at their respective offices. We still don't have a proper ground where we can train and we definitely need a better coach. Even our kits have been bought by us," says Vijaykant.

He adds that other teams across the country like Rajasthan and Maharashtra are taken care of by their respective State governments and cricket boards. But the same cannot be said about Karnataka.

"It's not like we are asking for five star facilities. We just need a place to train, basic facilities and benefits that every state level athlete receives," he says.

However, for the Dharwad series specifically, a number of brands have come forward to help.

"We have brands like State Bank of India, Pepsi, Titan, Edu Talk, Roseline and more pooling in resources for the series. I think brands are slowly realising that they need to look beyond just their immediate returns on investment. It is time they gave back," says Amardeep Kaushal, a KSPCCA member.

The team hopes to host a four or six team series in Bengaluru mid-2015.

"We want to make Bengaluru the centre of physically challenged cricket in India. Next year, we hope to host as many state teams as possible," says Vijay. The team will also play in Goa later in December.

Source : The New Indian Express , 24th Nov 2014

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