ICRC International T20 Cricket Tournament for the People with Physical Disabilities will starts today Wednesday at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium with the participation of five teams, Bangladesh, India, England, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina will inaugurate the meet at 10:00am.
This is for the first time this type of international tournament for physically challenged cricketers is organised. Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and Bangladesh Krira Shikkha Protishtan (BKSP) jointly organised the tournament.
Ahead of the tournament a press conference was held on Tuesday.
At the press conference Christine Cipolla, Head of the ICRC delegation in Bangladesh said, "Physical disability is not a burden, they can be a asset to the country. All are excited about the tournament. This is just the beginning, more to come in future."
BCB CEO Nizamuddin Chowdhury thinks they are going to make a history and the tournament will change the point of view of the people towards the physically challenged.
He said, "Physically challenged people are deprived from the society. Many of the society think negatively about them. This tournament will give message of the victory of the physically challenged to all. It will aware the people that the physically challenged can also cope with the mainstream of the society."
The ODI skipper of Bangladesh national Cricket Team Mashrafe Mortaza has become the brand ambassador of the tournament.
Regarding the tournament he said, "I am not showing any sympathy but congratulate them. I want to appreciate their courage, enthusiasm and vitality. This is one of the most pleasurable events of my life to be the ambassador of the tournament. I am very happy to be part of it.
Mashrafe also said he will watch the matches as more as possible to inspire the players.
The skippers of all the teams talked to the media at the press conference expressed their views.
Bangladesh skipper Alam Khan said, "We could not practice for a long time. But we will play giving our best. The tournament will inspire the physically challenged people to dream to do something for the country."
England skipper Iain Nairn considering the tournament to prove their worth as he said, "This is an opportunity to show the world that we are not behind from the normal people. We can play the same shots in same balls like the normal players play. Earlier, we played with Afghanistan and Pakistan. Hopefully we will win the trophy."
On the other hand Pakistan skipper Hasnain Khan said, "Earlier, we played three series against England and Afghanistan and we won all. The Pakistan team worked very hard and we are confident."
Indian skipper Dinesh Kumer feels like home coming to Bangladesh and he hope the tournament will go a long way.
He said "I would like to thank BCB and ICRC for organising the event. I hope they will keep up and all the boards will affiliate the physically challenged cricket team. Coming to Bangladesh I feel I am at my home."
However, Afghanistan skipper Ashraf khan also thanked the organisers and hoped for a competitive tournament.