ISLAMABAD - Both factions of the Pakistan Cricket Association for Physically Handicapped (PCAPH) joined hands for the betterment of disabled cricket in the country.

The PCAPH was a genuine body of disabled cricketers in Pakistan and they were doing wonders, but after successfully conducting back-to-back international series and getting due recognition, all of a sudden cracks appeared within the association and major stakeholders like Nasir Mehmood Chaudhry, Naveed Malik, Saeed Ahmed Bhatti, M Ashfaq Chahtha, Akhunzada Faheem, Mirza Nisar and others parted ways from Abbas Hashmi due to his one-man-show.

Some serious allegations were levelled by both the parties against each other. The PCAPH officials suffered minor dents, but the players were the ultimate losers in the entire episode. All of a sudden, matches were stopped, tours dried up and for the last three years, not a single national disabled championship could be organised.

A few well-wishers from both the sides and especially Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) sports committee played major role in breaking deadlock and brought both the parties closer. After a few meetings, both the parties decided to work jointly in the best interest of the noble cause of taking disabled cricket to new heights.

Talking The Nation, PCAPH life-time chairman Abbas Hashmi along with Nasir Mehmood Chaudhry, Naveed Malik, Ch Shahid Gujjar and Gohar Ali said: “We have sorted out all minor differences and we will work as team like we did in the past. I know disabled cricketers were the ultimate sufferers during the entire saga, but I can assure all that from now on, we will not waste our energies on personal issues, rather work together for their rights.

“We have also joined hands with the Pakistan Disabled Sports Association (PDSA). We will look after only cricket affairs, while the PDSA will conduct all the other disabled sports. We have promised to provide central contracts in four categories to disabled cricketers. The first phase will start next month,” they added.

He said they were conducting Azadi Day T20 Cup next month in which the PCAPH cricket team would play against the leading journalists, politicians, ministers and others. “Due to security reasons, we can’t announce their names for the time being, while national disabled cricket championship will be held in October this year in Islamabad, in which top eight teams from Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar, Rawalpindi, Gujranwala, Faisalabad, Fata, AJK and hosts Islamabad will take part. The winners will earn Rs 100,000, while runners-up will get Rs 70,000 and third place team Rs 50,000. There will also be handsome cash prizes for the best player, batsman, bowler, wicketkeeper, all-rounder and fielder.”

They said: “We will also give central contracts to 10 A category players in the first phase, while in the second phase, 10 players will get B category, in third phase, 10 players will get C category and in the fourth phase, 10 players will get D category contracts. There will be a special category for emerging players as well. Soon after the national championship, we will announce two-week open trials at Islamabad in which disabled cricketers from across the country will be invited.

“We will shortlist 20 players for the main camp under the supervision of top former Test cricketer in Islamabad and the final 16 will be selected for the mega Asia Cup T20 Championship, which will be held in India in February and March next year, in which hosts India, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka and Pakistan will be seen in action,” they added.

Nasir Ch said: “We have joined the PCAPH unconditionally and without any offices. I am nominated to conduct the Azadi Cup match as chairman, which we will hold in a befitting manner. We will not take any posts in the association and work as ordinary members. We will ensure to double up efforts and make the dream of our late leader Munawar Mughal a reality, who had promised to issue central contracts and jobs to disabled cricketers. Unfortunately, he left for heavens in 2014, but we will carry forward his mission,” he added.

“We will conduct three-nation series in December in Pakistan involving India, Afghanistan and hosts Pakistan. It will be a perfect opportunity for all these three teams for the upcoming Asia Cup and provide much-needed practice to our team,” Nasir concluded.