Players like Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni can give back to cricket by helping physically challenged cricket: Sachin Shiva, Indian captain (physically challenged cricket)

Sachin Shiva, Captain of Indian Cricket Team (wheelchair cricket)

Not long ago former Australian skipper Steven Smith claimed that practice matches have no relevance while touring India citing the nature of pitch, which is provided to them during practice matches. While Australian and Indian players had enough time and adequate facilities to hone their skills in Nagpur, India and Sri Lankan players for physically challenged cricket will only get two hours ahead of their first T20 international, scheduled to take place on February 22 in Tamil Nadu.

Yes, read that right! It’s a full-fledged international level bilateral contest between India and Sri Lanka, featuring equally passionate and talented cricketer, but physically challenged. Sachin Shiva-led Team India will host Sri Lanka in a three-match T20 internationals, on February 22, 23 and 24.

While there is an enormous amount of money being injected to senior men’s and women’s cricket in India, physically challenged cricket is still craving for basic facilities, resources and recognition.

Mr. Shiva says that there is ‘no dearth of passion and potential with physically challenged cricketers, but they are equally talent or at time more than senior men’s and women’s cricket team, but ‘consistent ignorance from corporate world and lack of acknowledgment are causing much struggle to the players and organisation (Divyang (Disability) Cricket Control Board of India).’

“Media has completely ignored our contribution to the nation. We also wear the same blue jersey and carry equivalent passion for our country, but no media coverage has caused massive lack of awareness for physically challenged cricket. My team has players, who are struggling a lot but they still represent the country for the sake of their unparalleled passion and love for this country. Our stories are not being written and discussed like it should,” Mr. Shiva told The Quotes.

A die-heart Sachin Tendulkar fan, Sachin Shiva feels its high time players from senior men’s cricket team must come forward and extend their support to physically challenged cricket and cricketers.

“Even women’s cricket had to take a hard walk before their contribution to cricket was recognised. Today, BCCI is bringing Women’s IPL and acknowledging their efforts and struggle. Even though we are on the same path and overcoming real challenges everyday to represent our nation. I don’t understand why love for cricket is only restricted to just senior men’s and women’s cricket,” added Mr. Shiva.

The Indian skipper revealed that Tamil Nadu’s popular OTT platform Black Ship has approached him for the live streaming of India vs Sri Lanka matches. Mr. Shiva further urges the Board of Control for Cricket in India to recognise the efforts of physically challenged cricketers and acknowledge their contribution.

“I am also a skipper of Indian cricket just like Rohit Sharma and Harmanpreet Kaur. They are a good sum of money for playing for the country, but I am not getting a single penny for representing the nation. I also have a family and kids and they have basic expectations from me. We don’t ask for a lot, but at-least a basic salary would do really well for us. Either BCCI or the Government of India must come forward and appreciate our efforts,” Mr. Shiva concludes.  

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