Exclusive || Wheelchair World Cup 2022 will be a significant feat for divyang cricket: Ghazal Khan, CEO, Divyang Cricket Control Board of India

The 2nd annual General Meeting of the Divyang Cricket Control Board of India, India’s largest governing organization for the Indian disabled cricket team was recently held in Agra. Amongst several notable decisions, India hosting the Wheelchair Cricket World Cup 2022 was the most significant.

The relevant stakeholders have also decided to open academies for the players at district level and follow the same structure which BCCI follows for Men’s and Women’s cricket team. In an exclusive interaction with Ghazal Khan, CEO of Divyang Cricket Control Board of India, The Quotes discussed various aspects of the Divyang cricket, preparations for the WC 2022 and the dynamics of Divyang Premier League. Excerpts of the conversation.

Q] Kindly share some of the important decisions which were taken in the recently concluded Annual General Meeting.
Annual General Meeting

Answer: This was first such AGM where all the relevant stakeholders (office bearers, coordinators from standing unit, regional unit and women’s disabled cricket) participated in. We witnessed a pan India participation and the energy levels were really high. I can assure everyone out there that office bearers and credible stakeholders are bearing the right mindset and approach towards improving the stature of Divyang Cricket in India.

We have discussed all the difficulties which the organization is facing at different level. We need more resources to handle Divyang cricket as we have 4000 plus players in the country.

New committees like technical committee, legal committee, selection committee etc. have been formulated to take care of players and the game at different level. Establishing national, state and district level academies are of utmost priority as new players are joining the game every day. The process might take time but positive things will surely happen in upcoming days.

Q] What kind of discussions related to Wheelchair Cricket World Cup 2022 were held during AGM?
Stakeholders at AGM

Answer: I would like to inform everyone that this is the first time when Wheelchair Cricket World Cup is taking place and we are proud to inform that India will host the same. I would like to urge cricket lovers to bestow similar love, and respect for the event.

Prior to the World Cup, Pakistan will host Wheelchair Cricket Asia Cup where Team India will participate. Wheelchair Cricket is like a new born baby and we are seeking similar support and love from cricket fans in India. We are expecting positive response through World Cup competition as it will help us to create awareness and draw interest of stakeholders.

Q] What kind of response did you get from state bodies or central government?

Answer: We’ve only got limited response from the state bodies and central government. We are constantly reaching out to the government stakeholders and submitting proposals for some sort of financial assistance, but we are yet to hear from them. Although, the road ahead is challenging but we are hopeful and optimistic. We are preparing a draft of World Cup and then we will share it with the government and state bodies.

Q] How’s the response of corporates towards divyang cricket?

Answer: Earlier local businessmen used to assist us in organizing matches and local tournaments. But now as we are expanding the dynamics of the divyang cricket we are reaching out to credible corporates who are already involved in cricket in one or way or the other. Due to my management background, I was able to rope in Mobile Premier League (MPL) for sponsoring Divyang Premier League T20, which took place in Dubai.

Chennai Super Stars became the champion of the inaugural edition of Divyang Premier League T20.

DPL T20 2021 was one of its kind as it was the first such tournament of physically challenged players and we saw magnificent response from corporates in Dubai. We don’t have any fixed sponsor at the moment. Prior to any tournament, we prepare our proposal and approach local businessman to provide us financial assistance.

During Season 1 of Divyang Premier League, one of our investor backed out from the deal days before the tournament, and then the wife of former Indian cricketer Ajit Agarkar helped us financially at the last moment and we are hoping similar assistance from her during the upcoming World Cup 2022.

Q] According to you what is the reason behind such ignorance from the credible stakeholders in the country towards Divyang Cricket.

Answer: I personally believe everyone runs after successful people. Once someone does not achieve glory or success, no one takes care. The similar approach was adopted with athletes like Neeraj Chopra and Mirabai Chanu. Till the time, they were not successful no one provided them any support, but after clinching medals in tournament everyone treated them like a star. Every physically challenged player is seeking similar success and glory in order to attract attention from credible stakeholders.

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