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Sunday, Oct 20, 2019

Treat us like normal cricketers and give us the same regard and reward: Ravinder Pal

Captain of the Indian Differently-Abled Cricket Team, Rravinder Pal who has recently won tri-series in Srilanka by 2-1 urges people and the government to treat them equally.

delhi Updated: Aug 31, 2018 14:00 IST
Ruchika Garg
Ruchika Garg
Hindustan Times
Ravinder Pal,  Captain of the Indian Differently-Abled Cricket Team says they deserve to e respected equally.
Ravinder Pal, Captain of the Indian Differently-Abled Cricket Team says they deserve to e respected equally. (Manoj Verma/HT Photo)

While it seems difficult to even walk with a crutch, the Indian Differently-Abled Cricket Team which has players with several disabilities has won the tri-series in Sri Lanka. The team didn’t get its fair share of applause this time around, but they are hopeful that they will, in future. “Currently, the whole focus of the country is on the Asian Games. People are not really aware about our accomplishment. Ek to Asian Games ko jyada privilege milti hai aur dusra, hampe focus bhi nahin hai. I want to request government authorities to give us the same regard and reward like normal cricketers. Don’t differentiate. We have the same potential and calibre,” says Ravinder Pal, captain of the Indian Differently-Abled Cricket Team.

Born and brought up in Fatehpur, Haryana, Pal lost his arm in a tragedy in 2000. During his visit to Blue Bells School, Gurgaon he shared his life experiences with us. Cricket has always been a part of my life. But the break came when I lost one hand while working with a grass-cutting machine. I was representing my state and playing domestic cricket before that. I didn’t lose hope after the accident, I picked up my bat and played even after that. But by 2004, he had lost hope and decided to quit playing. “Some people made me realise that there is no future for a handicapped person in cricket.”

But destiny had other plans. “After losing all hope, I was watching one a series between two handicapped teams. It gave me the idea to form an Indian team and I shared it with the general secretary of the differently- abled society, and they loved it. And here we are, making our country proud. My father, who was against my passion for cricket saw me practising and asked me to go ahead with the idea. That became the turning point of my life.” Pal was instrumental in forming the Indian Differently-Abled Cricket team in 2008.

Speaking about challenges he has to face on the field, Pal says, “There are two things that matter in cricket. One is to judge the co-ordination between the eye and the ball, which comes naturally to me. The other, is to hit the ball with force and direction. That is something one can do best with both hands - one is used for force and the other is for direction. For me, the challenge is to do both with one hand.”

The Disabled Sporting Society is proud of them. “It’s a huge success for each one of us. These players are the real heroes and we should come forward to support them. We, at Indo Wheelchair Cricket Association, are committed to improving the facilities of the players and helping them achieve their dreams and goals. Sarvesh Tiwari, Chairman, Disabled Sporting Society.

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First Published: Aug 31, 2018 14:00 IST

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