Chasing dreams and defying odds in Bangladesh

  • “I’m disabled, but I want to make a difference for my country, defying my disability." Shafiqul Islam, 25, was born with one leg much shorter than the other.
    © Ratan Gomes /ICRC
  • Over 200 youths with different disabilities took part in the third edition of the talent hunt camp.
    © Ratan Gomes /ICRC
  • Golam Azam, 25, hails from Kutubdia sub-district, Cox’s Bazar. His father did not want him to play but Azam's mind was set. He said, "I have a job now, but I did not let go of my dream of becoming a cricketer. I will not lose hope if I’m not selected. I will fight back and return to attend next year’s camp.”
    © Ratan Gomes /ICRC
  • For Masud Hasan, the team manager, it has been a great learning experience to coach people with disabilities. "I learn every day. Last year, our players went abroad to play at the tri-national tournament in Dubai. It gave me hope to dream big with these players and make a positive change in their lives.”
    © Ratan Gomes /ICRC
  • 19-year old Mohamamd Saju Ahmed, from southwestern district Satkhira, wants to become as popular as his cousin Mustafiz, the young pace bowling sensation for the Bangladesh National Cricket team. “Those who play excellent cricket will be selected at the end. It’s not easy to get in the team because it will participate in competitive tournaments. I’ve been playing for years in my district, but I found it very tough. In any case, the experience of this camp will stay with me forever.”
    © Ratan Gomes /ICRC
  • “I’m from Lalmonirhat, one of the poorest districts of North Bengal. The literacy rate there is low compared to other districts and that impacts overall employment opportunities. Playing cricket gives me hope that I can do anything,” said college student Biplob Khondoker.
    © Ratan Gomes /ICRC
  • “I used to play cricket in my village and people would say I played well. That was the motivation that kept me going. So, I’ve come here to try my luck for the second time. I did not make it to the final selection last year, but that boosted my confidence and here I am again." Shahjahan Ali travelled overnight from a far-off district in the north to take part in the camp.
    © Ratan Gomes /ICRC
09 April 2017

For about 200 young men with disabilities in Bangladesh, cricket is more than just a sport.

Cricket requires physical stamina and fitness but to play the game, these men have to overcome immense physical challenges. Some have had to travel overnight from remote parts of the country to take part in the third edition of a talent hunt camp, held in Savar earlier this year.

The Ministry of Youth and Sports, the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) and the Bangladesh Institute of Sports (BKSP) co-organized the event together with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). On the last day of the camp and after challenging skill tests, 10 players were selected to participate in the six-week training camp with other players from the BCB Physically Challenged Cricket team, under the supervision of expert coaches.

 

Subscribe to the ICRC newsletter