The players refuse to let their handicap get in the way because they excel on the pitch
The two-day TANA Multi-Capacity Wheelchair Cricket Cup, hosted under the auspices of the Telugu Association of North America (TANA), concluded Thursday at ZP High School Ground in Gopalapatnam.
Refusing to let their disabilities hamper their love of the game, the cricketers eagerly punched, bowled and lined up, all from their wheelchairs. A modest crowd that had arrived to watch the game slowly grew in size and spectators watched in wonder as the defensive players run in their wheelchairs to stop the ball, almost bowing in their efforts to retrieve the ball.
The land is located just behind the ZP high school but with a high wall and a wire grid separating them. The land has a separate entrance gate. As players with varying abilities showed off their skills with the bat and ball, curious school children stood at the doorway and watched the game unfold during the lunch break.
“I have a strong passion for cricket and I was a first class player. My spinal cord was seriously injured in a car accident in Delhi in 2012, and since then I have been confined to a wheelchair, ”said S. Raman Subba Rao, founding general secretary of the AP Wheelchair and Disabled Cricket Association, who has been hosting wheelchair cricket matches every year since 2016.
“Sports and games help overcome mental stress and improve physical fitness. The winners of this event will be eligible to participate in the National Championships to be held in Delhi later. We are also planning to host a Wheelchair Cricket World Cup in a few years, ”said Mr. Subba Rao.
“I came to India for a race a few weeks ago. In the United States, I had started basketball and football for the NRIs on behalf of TANA after I was elected sports coordinator, ”said Shashank Yarlagadda. “Upon arriving in India, I searched online to organize a sporting activity and came across Raman Subba Rao, who has conducted wheelchair cricket matches. I learned that all over India there were about a dozen such associations and I wanted to start with the Telugu states first, ”he said.
“TANA President Lavu Anjaiah Choudhary, Secretary Satish Vemuri and TANA Foundation President Venkata Ramana Yarlagadda and Secretary Sashikanth Vallepalli gladly accepted my proposal,” said Shashank, who plans to organize another match in November or December of this year on a larger scale. .
Tourism Minister Muttamsetti Srinivasa Rao, Deputy Mayor Jiyyani Sridhar, Visakhapatnam West MPP PGVR Naidu, Chief Patron T. Shiva Shankara Rao were among those who attended the inaugural ceremony on Wednesday.
Thursday’s game was played between Andhra and Telangana. Andhra hit first and scored 231/4 in 15 overs, while Telangana managed to score 99/6 in 15 overs.