Distinguished visitors at the disability cricket seminar. © ICRC/Sheikh Mehedi Morshed
Dhaka (ICRC) – Disabled cricketers, coaches, officials, physiotherapists and other interested persons learned about cricket for people with disabilities at a seminar held in Mirpur today – the first such event ever organized by the ICRC in cooperation with the Bangladesh Cricket Board, the British High Commission, and the England and Wales Cricket Board.
“I am pleased to see the engagement of the Bangladesh Cricket Board with the unique endeavour of helping people lead dignified lives and be integrated into the community with respect and honour,” said H. T. Imam, Political Adviser to the Prime Minister, addressing the participants.
Sport can play a key role in the lives of people with disabilities, but disabled people in Bangladesh have limited access to sport generally and especially to cricket, the most popular sport in the country.
A friendly cricket tournament between Bangladesh and India, National Sports Education Center, Savar, Bangladesh. The game is in full swing. The tournament was played in a T-20 format using both Dukes and tape balls. © ICRC
“Cricket is an integral part of Bangladeshi society and is a shining symbol of unity and pride. Physical or mental disability should never act as a barrier to pursuing the cricketing dream,” said Kazi Inam Ahmed, Director of the Bangladesh Cricket Board.
Christine Cipolla, head of the ICRC delegation in Bangladesh, presented the physical rehabilitation work carried out by the ICRC around the world. She explained that the ICRC, which encourages people with disabilities to participate actively in sport, works with the Center for the Rehabilitation of the Paralyzed and the Bangladesh Cricket Board to help people with disabilities rebuild their lives with dignity.
Emily Summers, political officer of the British High Commission in Dhaka, said: "Disability cricket shows that everyone in society can enjoy the same activities and contribute in equal measure. I am delighted that the UK is helping those with disabilities. Often among the poorest and most marginalized in Bangladesh, they prove just what they can achieve when given the chance."
After the seminar, the England and Wales Cricket Board will give a two-day disability awareness training course for coaches, with the aim of creating the first-ever national Bangladeshi cricket team for people with disabilities. The team is expected to draw attention to the plight of people with disabilities in the country.
After a full day session with experts, cricketers spent the two days training at the practice ground of the National Cricket Stadium, Mirpur. © ICRC/Sheikh Mehedi Morshed
"The England and Wales Cricket Board is delighted to lend its support to this exciting initiative," said Ian Martin, the board's head of cricket for the disabled. "Cricket is a sport that is easily adaptable to enable people with all types of disability to play the game in a way that is appropriate to them."
For further information, please contact:
Michael Kifle, ICRC Dhaka, tel: +880 1730 329 307, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Rayhan Sultana Toma, ICRC Dhaka, tel: +880 1755 621 456, email: email@example.com
Photos: © ICRC/Sheikh Mehedi Morshed