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For a first, Kolkata hosts tri-nation T20 wheelchair cricket

Kolkata: At a time, when Indian cricket lovers are engrossed with their favourite Indian Premier League (IPL) teams, several para-sports organizations have come together to organize a Tri-nation wheelchair cricket tournament in the city of Kolkata.

With the aim of including people with disabilities in the field of popular sports, Wheelchair Cricket of India (WCI) along with Para Sports Foundation (PSF), Aciesta Sports Alliance and Kolkata-based organisation Civilian Welfare Foundation (CWF) is organising an International T20 Tri- series Cricket Tournament in Kolkata.

The 3-day cricket extravaganza will see cricket players from Nepal, Bangladesh and India clash at the NKDA Stadium, New Town. The mega event will kick off from April 26 and the finale will be on April 28.

Former sports and transport minister Madan Mitra addressed the press conference at 5 Mad Men, a gastro sports pub, determined to make a difference to the common definitive idea of sports and to promote para-sports and help para-athletes deserve their rightful accolades.

Mitra was very enthusiastic at the press conference. He said, “Kolkata is a sports crazy city so is pro-sports. And something as innovative as wheelchair cricket must be organised in the city so that people get to know about it.”

CWF, a non-profit organization, working for the betterment of para-athletes in the national and international area, is working toward eradicating the common belief that wheelchair-bound people cannot actively participate in something as engrossing as sports. “But people with other disabilities are participating in sports. So we thought of organising this mega international event, to build their confidence,” said Shuvojit Moulik, president of CWF.

Pradeep Raj, president of PSF, a social voluntary organisation involved in organising and promotion of para-sports said that Bengal lacks para-sporting talent. “The decision was taken to organise the event so that people get to know about para-sports, particularly wheelchair cricket. We have organised wheelchair cricket not only in India but in foreign shores as well,” he said.

He also mentioned that there is little to no enthusiasm in para-sports in eastern and northeastern India. There are no players from Bengal in the tournament this time. But Abhay Pratap Singh, CEO of WCI hopes that in the next tournament there would be players from Bengal.

So get set to cheer the talented para-sportsmen!

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