Goa: The India-Bangladesh wheelchair cricket international match will be held in Goa on 31st March 2019. The Bangladesh team will first arrive in Mumbai and will play the first match in Mumbai. The final match will be held in Goa on 31st March, according to co-organiser and spokesperson Flynn Remedios, who made the announcement in Panaji today. The match is being supported by the Bangladesh Cricket Association – the official cricket body of Bangladesh and the Disabled Sporting Society of India (DSS). This is the first time in the history of Goa that an international wheelchair cricket match is being held in the state.
In addition to this international match, for the first time in Goan history, the State will play host to 14 wheelchair cricket teams from across the length and breadth of the nation who will be part of the Goa Cricket League – GCL – 2019. The All Goa State Cricket Cup – GCL 2019 incorporating wheelchair cricket – albeit with different criteria compared to standard international cricket norms, will be held at Shiroda and Ponda in the month of March with over 200 local teams participating, both in the Under-18 and Open categories together.
In addition to the visiting wheelchair cricket teams, there will be two Blind Cricket teams which will play an exhibition charity match in the State Capital Panaji.
Registration for the same has already begun and more than 32 teams from all over Goa have already registered for the tournament in the open category. Registration for the U-18 category will begin on 21st February, said Remedios.
In addition to these matches, there will be special inter-state charity matches for Blind, Differently-Abled and Wheelchair cricketers along with TV and Bollywood celebrities and actors. The specially-abled teams will play exhibition matches only with the length of the pitch and the field being different.
This state-level tournament is being organised by the Goa State Differently-able, Wheelchair and Blind Sports Forum (GDWBSF). It is however not affiliated to the Goa Cricket Association.
“This is the first time that cricket matches for the Blind, Wheelchair and Differently-abled cricketers are being organised in Goa,” event co-organiser and media spokesperson Flynn Remedios said, adding that an India-Bangladesh Wheelchair cricket tournament was held in Mumbai last year with the visiting Bangladesh wheelchair cricket team being sponsored by the Bangladesh Cricket Association, the official national cricket body of the country.
The Mumbai tournament was organised by the Nevada Putman Foundation in association with the Disabled Sporting Society and supported by the Gyandeep Seva Charitable Trust of Mumbai, said Remedios, who was also associated with the event. This is the second year that the series is being continued in another State.
At the India-Bangladesh Wheelchair cricket tournament, the Indian team was captained by Ramesh Sartape of Maharashtra and the Bangladesh team was captained by Mohammad Mohasin.
We are in the process of inviting teams from all over India for the Blind, Wheelchair and Differently-abled cricket matches, said Remedios. The grand prize for the tournament will be Rs 5 lakh, with several other prizes for the participating and winning teams. The grand prize for the wheelchair cricket team will be Rs 2.5 lakh with the 1st prize for the winning team being Rs one lakh.
According to Remedios, Wheelchair cricket teams from Delhi, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Mumbai, Rajasthan and West Bengal have already confirmed their participation. Two Blind cricket teams are also on the verge of confirming their participation in the series.