ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Disabled Sports Association (PDSA) is going to organise cricket match on August 14 to mark Independence Day in a befitting manner.
PDSA chairman Sheikh Abdul Waheed along with secretary Nasir Mehmood Chaudhry announced this during an exclusive interview with The Nation on Monday. Sharing his views, Waheed said: “We have made all the arrangements to launch the association first competitive activity on the biggest day of the country. Our team will play cricket match against Rawalpindi Islamabad Sports Journalists Association (RISJA) at either Pindi Cricket Stadium or Diamond Cricket ground.”
Ex-PCB chief Najam Sehti will grace the occasion as chief guest at the day/night floodlight T20 match, while Islamabad Cricket Association (ICA) president Shakil Sheikh and other high-profile dignitaries will also be present on the occasion. “We will also announce central contracts for the players in four different categories and will hand over them after the conclusion of the match. We have taken little time before announcing activities just because we want to start the activities with a big bang,” he said.
“The PDSA will send its team to inaugural Asia Cup for the disabled in India. I would like to take this opportunity and give my heartiest felicitations to newly-elected ICCPC chairman Raja Imran. It is not only an honor for him but also for the entire country. He has done tireless work for the last few years and he deserves that honor. As far as team selection, training camp and appointment of coach is concerned, we will establish camp in Islamabad and disabled players from across the country will be invited. We have contacted former international player Irfan Bhatti to coach the players,” he added. “We will also hold football match at Jinnah Stadium under floodlights. Disabled players will be provided training under renowned soccer coaches and the match will likely be played against top club of the capital. Director General Sports Board Dr Akhtar Nawaz Ganjera will be the chief guest on the occasion.”
“We will also hold Kashmir Cup Cricket Championship to be held in AJK in September, in which disabled teams from Pakistan and AJK will take part. We are in talks with AJK president Sardar M Yaqoob Khan to be the chief guest at closing ceremony,” he stated.
Sharing his views, PDSA secretary Nasir Mehmood Ch said: “It was my dream to provide a platform to handicapped persons where they may fulfill all their dreams and earn bread and butter for their families in respectable manner. I had worked tirelessly for my entire life for promotion of sports. I had joined the PCAPH just because of that reasons and took it to new heights, but some persons tried to hijack the entire cause, which left me with no other option but to part ways along with other directors. Due to requests of handicapped players, I have restarted my work and I will do my best to provide the due to handicapped players.” “We will offer central contracts to not only cricket players but also to players of other sports. In the first phase, we are focusing on cricket, football, badminton and table tennis. Top players in these sports will be given central contracts in four different categories. After that, we have planned to cover more sports,” he added.
“It is my promise, the players will be given more than they can expect. They will be provided with maximum opportunities to play against international teams like India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, England and South Africa. We have decided to provide our platform to International Cricket Council for Physically Challenged (ICCPC) and help them conduct four-nation tournament in Pakistan in December this year. After this event, another tri-series is being planned with England, South Africa and Australian handicapped cricket teams and their dates will be finalised after getting the NOCs. We will hold World Cup for disabled in 2015 in Pakistan which will certainly help us to present the true sports loving picture of Pakistan and will ensure revival of international cricket in Pakistan,” Nasir concluded.