Sri Lanka Cricket snubs physically challenged players | Sunday Observer

Sri Lanka Cricket snubs physically challenged players

File photo of Sri Lanka’s hearing impaired cricketers celebrating winning the inaugural ICC Deaf T20 World Cup last year
File photo of Sri Lanka’s hearing impaired cricketers celebrating winning the inaugural ICC Deaf T20 World Cup last year

Sri Lanka Cricket has snubbed the Cricket Association for the Physically Challenged that recently won their ODI and T/20 games against the Cricket Wales Disability team affiliated to the England and Wales Cricket Board at Prince of Wales College ground Moratuwa.

The home team won both matches that were worked off while two were affected by rain and not played.

Speaking to the Sunday Observer Lakshan Fernando president of the Cricket Association for the Physically Challenged said that they invited the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) for the tournament and it was successfully concluded apart from the rain ruined matches.

“Due to lack of financial commitment we did not continue with the rest of the matches. The three day matches were called off due to rain,” he said.

He further said that they organised this tournament without proper sponsors and no support from Sri Lanka Cricket.

The Sri Lanka Deaf and Disable Cricket Association was recognized by the then Minister of Sports Faiszer Musthapha who wanted both sports bodies to be affiliated to Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC).

But Sri Lanka Cricket had not taken any decision regarding the request made by Musthapha. Lakshan Fernando said that SLC never called them for any meeting regarding the matter and did not even allow them to participate in the Disabled Cricket World Cup organized by the ECB that was run parallel to the World Cup. The ECB had invited Sri Lanka through SLC but its CEO Ashley de Silva had reportedly conveyed to the ECB that there was no such “disabled team” in Sri Lanka. The strangest part of the whole episode was that all the other Asian teams participated in the global event except Sri Lanka due to step-motherly treatment from SLC.

“We need to be recognized legally to participate in major tournaments in England and Australia,” said Fernando.

“Most of the countries recognize their disabled and deaf cricket teams.

“To be honest we are very confident and strong and never think about our disabilities. But different attitudes by SLC hurts our players badly,” charged Fernando. Moves by the Sunday Observer to reach out to Ashley de Silva proved futile. Sri Lanka’s hearing impaired cricketers created history when they beat India by 36 runs to win the inaugural Deaf ICC T/20 Cricket World Cup in India last year and all handicapped players in the country looked forward to a new beginning.

 

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