The Master Blaster has donated a some of 4.39 Lakhs to the Indian wheelchair cricket team.

Wheelchair Cricket India Secretary-General Pradeep Raj told ANI that he had sent an e-mail to Sachin seeking some sponsorship following which the latter donated the required amount of money.

“Despite my best efforts, I could only get only one sponsor, who gave Rs 2 lakh. I had knocked many doors for our wheelchair team but to no avail. I had Sachin sir’s email address as during my days as a para-athlete (he was a cricketer and then a para TT player), I had e-mailed him. This time also I mailed Sachin sir asking for help,” Raj said.

“To my pleasant surprise, his office got in touch with me within three days and in next few days, he donated the outstanding Rs 4.5 lakh. Without his help, the Indian Wheelchair cricket team would have had to cancel their trip to Bangladesh. The financial help provided by him went a long way in booking air tickets for the 19-member team,” Raj said.
“Also from the balance amount, we were able to give each cricketer Rs 10,000 as series fees. BJP MP and noted Bhojpuri actor Manoj Tiwari also donated Rs 10,000 each to the players. So for the first time, Indian players got Rs 20,000 each for playing a tournament,” Raj said.

The Indian team beat Bangladesh 2-0 in the three-match series.

“The matches were held in Dhaka and the first one was a wash-out due to rain. We won the next two matches. This is the second time that wheelchair team has played an international series. Last time, we had invited Bangladesh in Delhi,” Raj informed.

“We know that association for the visually challenged cricketers have appealed to BCCI for support. We have a committed bunch of cricketers, who have survived biggest of tragedies to come this far. If we get the support of the establishment, it will help all these people have a second shot at the career,” Raj appealed.

In wheelchair cricket, the matches are held in T20 format. They are trying to use lighter balls (used for women’s cricket). If the wheelchair is used by the batsman to obstruct a delivery, then he is adjudged lbw. The boundaries are at 45 yards.

“In the Indian team, there are different stories. There are players, who have had their legs amputated because of road accidents. We have players, who are paralysed waist down. There are a few who have been affected by polio. They have come from all parts of the country, appeared for trials and got selected. We organised a national tournament last year and champions were rewarded with the cash prize of Rs 50,000,” the secretary said.