The Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) has decided to reserve 50 seats for the differently-abled for any international fixtures at the iconic Eden Gardens.
“We have taken a decision that the front row of G Block comprising 50 seats will be reserved for the differently abled people. Steps will be taken so that they can come and view the matches comfortably. We want Eden Gardens to be a warm and an all embracing venue,” said CAB president and former India captain, Sourav Ganguly.
“We are also planning to aid and support the specially abled cricketers as we don't want to lose out on any talent,” Ganguly added.
The decision was taken by the state association to mark the World Disabled Day and CAB joint secretary, Avishek Dalmiya, stated that there will be wheelchair assistance and special toilet facilities for the differently-abled spectators. “We were thinking about it for a while and since cricket stands for unity, we don’t want the differently-abled spectators to be left out,” CAB joint secretary, Avishek Dalmiya, told Sportstar .
With no international fixture lined up at the moment, the facility is likely to begin during the Indian Premier League. “We will also need to talk to Kolkata Knight Riders as there are a few areas that needs to be discussed,” Dalmiya said, adding that they are also contemplating issuing the tickets to the differently-abled spectators for free.
The CAB is also working out a model for holding camps for the differently-abled cricketers. Over the last year, the CAB has been supporting visually challenged and hearing impaired cricketers aiding in tournaments and with logistics.
“We want to provide specific coaching and training programmes for the talented cricketers as we want to support them in every way possible to promote sports among the specially abled,” Dalmiya said, adding that the CAB has also incorporated a Differently Abled Cricket Committee while amending its constitution.