ISLAMABAD   -   Pakistan Disabled Cricket Association (PDCA) Honorary Secretary Amiruddin Ansari has confirmed that Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has sanctioned the PDCA a grant of Rs 2.5 million for the preparation of Pakistan Disabled cricket team.

Talking to The Nation, Ansari said: “On behalf of PDCA President Rashid Latif, all the directors and disabled cricketers, I want to thank PCB and assure all that we will try to give our 100 percent in the coming tournament in England. We are extremely grateful to PCB for this support, as we required around Rs 12 million to cover expenditures, so it is a great help and we have private sponsors as well. Our patron Saleem Karim is always very kind and generous and always ready to help for the noble cause.

“We are also thankful to PCB Managing Director Wasim Khan for his personal interest to encourage our special cricketers. His approval to use High Performance Centre Karachi and National Stadium Karachi for 10 days training camp for disabled cricketers will help us prepare well for the tour UK tour,” he added.

Ansari added that the PDCA will give his best in upcoming World Series. After the ICC World Cup, the preparations of physically disabled cricketers will start. The World Series final will be played one day before August 14 and our players are very excited to give Independence Day gift to PCB and entire nation by winning the tournament.

“Six teams including England, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and newcomers Zimbabwe will participate in the first ever historical event in UK (Worcestershire), while the much-anticipated match against archrivals India will be played on August 9, for which the players are confident of their victory. The tournament will start from August 4, as we are facing acute shortage of funds, we will depart for UK on August 2,” he added.

The PDCA secretary said that the event will be played memorable county grounds, where our Prime Minister Imran Khan had played his initial cricket. “Pakistan physically disabled cricket team has won the tri-nation disability cricket series last year by beating England at Worcestershire County Ground and till date, Pakistan has won all the international events of disability cricket series, including 2012 series against England, 2014 against England, 2015 against Afghanistan, 2016 ICC Academy Series and Tri-National Series in 2018 except 2015 series in Bangladesh, where England were the winners and Pakistan ended up as runners-up.”

He said: “Our regular domestic activities have been going on since 2008, in which national championships and Pentangular Cups are organised every year. We are also thankful to PCB Chairman Ehsan Mani and other officials for their kind support and trust in the PDCA. I also want to thank Interloop Limited, PIA, NBP and ICRC for their wonderful support throughout the years.

“We have acquired services of top domestic coach of the country Sabih Azhar, who has worked with zeal and passion and helped Pakistani disabled players scale down new heights. I know all the players are very motivated and they are ready to win laurels for the country,” Ansari concluded.