Chandigarh: Reiterating its commitment to improve the quality of life for youth through sports, India’s leading consumer durables company Usha International,continues its association with All India Cricket Association for the Deaf (AICAD) and Deaf Cricket Federation to sponsor the 5th edition of Usha Divyang Cricket League. The three-day cricket tournament for the specially-abled cricketers was inaugurated by Sh. Ashutosh Baranwal, Principal Commissioner, GST and Sh. K.K. Yadav, Secretary Sports, UT Administrationin Chandigarh and will be held from 26th to 29th November, 2019. The league will see160 specially-abled cricketers from India and abroad take participate across three categories: visually impaired, hearing impaired, and wheelchair categories.
The first three editions of the league, starting in 2013, were limited to the hearing impaired athletes, with exhibition matches of wheel chair enabled cricketers and visually impaired cricketers were only introduced in the 4th edition. This year officials from USA, UK, Korea and Germanywill be in attendance to witness the league and sign an official agreement in order for their players to participate in the next edition of the Usha Divyang Cricket League.The 5th edition of the League will see four wheel chair cricket teams and two visually impaired teams participating, in addition to eight hearing impaired cricket teams. The eight teams in the 5th Usha Divyang Cricket League 2019 are Silent heroes XI, Deaf Warriors, Satluj, Chenab, Beas, Ravi, Jhelum and Aicad XI.
Mr. Padam Passi, CEO, All India Cricket Association of Deaf said, “The vision behind the league is to encourage inclusivity and provide a platform to specially-abled cricketers to enjoy the game and make a mark for themselves.They have an equal right to enjoy a game like cricket.We are grateful to Usha, had theynotsupported us as the very 1st sponsor, we would not have reached the 5th edition today.”
Commenting on the association, Komal Mehra, Head – Sports Initiatives and Associations at Usha International, said, “Usha International has always been committed to support sports at every level and has been inspired by the athletes and specially-abled cricketers. We are proud to be associated with this leaguethat provides the platform for inclusion which is now in its 5th edition and growing from strength to strength. This initiative just goes to show that each one of us can enjoy an active and healthy lifestyle.”
Usha has also been a key sponsor for the Indian Deaf Cricket Team for the Deaf Cricket Asia Cup. Many of the participating players have also represented India as a part of the Indian Deaf cricket team and various other international tournaments.