ISLAMABAD - Australian High Commissioner Peter Hayward lauded the great efforts and services of Pakistan Disabled Sports Association (PDSA) and its chairman Sheikh Abdul Waheed for promotion of disabled persons’ sports especially cricket.

Talking to The Nation, Peter said: “It is a noble cause. Although the PDSA is recently formed but in short span of time, Sheikh Waheed and his team has done a tremendous work. It is always a great cause to work for persons with disability, whenever Waheed invited me, I always made myself available, as I feel it is my responsibility to put my share in the best possible manner. I am grateful to him as he always invites me for disabled events.”

“I have heard Sheikh Waheed will soon start working on other disabled sports. It will be a great service and welcome addition for disabled persons which provide them opportunities to exhibit their prowess. I have witnessed the cricket match of disabled persons and I can't believe what a tremendous catch took by a player right at the boundary ropes and that too with just one hand. It was amazing and I am sure even a normal player could have struggled to hold on to that breathtaking catch,” he added.

When asked about existence of any disabled cricket team in Australia, Peter replied: “No, not at the time being. We have teams of blind and wheel chair, but I heard work is going on in disabled cricket as well in Queensland. The Cricket Australia (CA) is not responsible for disable cricket or associations rather these are run by the states. As soon as disabled team will be formed, I will play my due role to arrange cricket series between PDSA and our teams.” He said he was seriously thinking about helping disabled persons and had worked for them in the past too, but as he had a very hectic schedule, he had decided to accomplish this noble task after his retirement. “I will work for this noble cause, and my well wishes are with the PDSA. I am here in Pakistan for some two months, and I will always be available for PDSA and disabled players even after my departure. I will remain in touch with a number of Pakistan people and friends. Sheikh Waheed is like younger brother to me, as he gave me tremendous respect and I would miss his company. I wish him best of luck for future events and hope he will carry on his noble cause and expand it with the passage of time,” Peter concluded.

Sharing his views, PDSA chairman Waheed thanked Peter Hayward for his unconditional support for disabled persons and paid rich tribute to not only Peter but also to his wife Suzan Peter, who always appreciated efforts for the promotion of disabled persons and sports and made herself available for events and remained at the venues for several hours setting aside important engagements.

“I can't even think about such a success without active and unmatched help of Peter and his wife, as they remained s huge source of inspiration for not only me, the PDSA but also for disabled players, who respect and love both of them and had high regards for them. Their active help always paved way for PDSA to work with more focus, dedication and commitment. We have decided to hold a cricket match between Australian High Commissioner XI and PDSA cricket teams next month. I have requested Peter to confirm dates as we want to honor him for his great time in Pakistan, and his love and dedication towards disabled sports. As soon as Peter confirms dates, the match will take place. We want to give warm and memorable send off to Peter and Suzan, Waheed concluded. PDSA secretary Nasir Mehmood Chaudhry described Peter as the great gentleman, a true human being and a great sports lover. “We will miss Peter and Suzan after they will leave for their country.”