Pakistan, England to play ‘disabled’ cricket series next year

Friday, January 28, 2011

KARACHI - Pakistan and England will play a historic ‘disabled’ cricket series next year, with its organisers expressing hope that the event will help the physically impaired lead independent lives.

“It will be a historic series. We want to spread the message that physical handicaps should not be an impediment in life,” the Daily Times quoted PDCA secretary Amiruddin Ansari, as saying at a press conference held to announce the three one-day and two Twenty20 match series, for which dates and venues are yet to be decided.

Disabled cricket was launched in Pakistan in 2007 and received a great boost when the Pakistan Cricket Board recognised the sport, allowing players to undertake official tours of Malaysia and Singapore last year.

Officials from the Pakistan Disabled Cricket Association (PDCA) met with Ian Martin, manager of disabled cricket for the International Cricket Council (ICC) and the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), to discuss the series earlier this month.

“England is anxious to have this series as soon as possible as Martin has done a lot of work on disabled cricket and has also tried to gather teams from Australia, New Zealand and India,” said Ansari.

“Disabled cricket will flourish once it comes under the ICC umbrella and comes in the Future Tours Programme through which all countries will play disabled cricket on regular basis,” he added.

Former Pakistan captain and Afghanistan cricket coach Rashid Latif, who has been named as PDCA Roving Ambassador, said he was ready to support disabled cricket.

“I am amazed to see their talent, as some of the players who do not have one hand or one leg play cricket like able players do,” said Latif, adding that he had undertaken a research programme to help disabled cricketers improve their skills. (ANI)

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