Published On: Mon, Mar 2nd, 2015

Superb show by Pakistan’s wheelchair cricket

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Pakistan’s wheelchair cricket team captain Majid Dawarr, who led Pakistan to a 3-0 sweep of Nepal in the International Wheelchair Cricket Winter Cup Series held in Kathmandu, is hopeful Misbah-ul-Haq’s side can turn it around at the ongoing World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, with just a little bit of ‘will power and determination’.

“We wear the green shirt and they do too. There is no question about not supporting the Pakistan team at the World Cup,” Dawar says of Misbah’s embattled side.

Pakistan went down to India by 76-runs in their opening game before suffering a 150-run humiliation at the hands of the West Indies.

And if ever Pakistan were looking for inspiration, they wouldn’t find a more inspirational group of individuals. With limited resources and physical disability, it was sheer determination that put these cricketers on the path to glory in Nepal.

Founded in 2012 by Mohammad Zeeshan Taqi, the Pakistan Wheelchair Cricket Team is part of the International Wheelchair Cricket Association (IWCA), a non-profit association registered with the government of Sindh. IWCA has already organised four major tournaments in Pakistan and is hoping now for international recognition.

According to founding member and secretary Syed Arif Khursheed on IWCA’s website, the journey started in a small 8×8 room where a team of two people could fit in and play.

“From there we promised ourselves to look forward. We faced many barriers along the way but were able to achieve something for our wheelchair-bound sportsmen. Now IWCA is recognised nationally and internationally as well.”

The series in Nepal was a stepping stone for the Pakistan wheelchair team, and a bigger challenge awaits them in April when they will face off against India in India for a five-match series.

But they are confident they can achieve success.

Pakistan wheelchair cricket team players celebrate victory after defeating Nepalese wheelchair cricket team (pictured in the background) in Kathmandu. – Photo: International Wheelchair Cricket Association

“Pakistan has the caliber and talent for the sport. We hope to promote the hidden talent of youth with disability from across the country,” Imran Shaikh, representative of Mahvash and Jahangir Siddiqui Foundation which provided the wheelchairs to the team for its Nepal series, says.–Agencies

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