India's disabled team will be rewarded, assures CoA Diana Edulji
The Vikrant Keni-led Indian Physical Disability T20 World Series champions had something more to celebrate yesterday as Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators member, Diana Edulji confirmed that the BCCI will reward them for their triumph which was witnessed in the United Kingdom last month.
Speaking during yesterday's felicitation function at the Mumbai Cricket Association's Bandra-Kurla Complex where Union Minister Nitin Gadkari was chief guest, Edulji said: "We have got the disabled cricketers into our constitution, so you will be part of BCCI now. We are honouring all players. Not only the players, but in our last meeting in Delhi, I requested that the support staff and the association [All India Cricket Association for the Physically Challenged] must get something. This is just the beginning. Play well, play hard and play to win."
While congratulating the champion side, the former India women's team captain also warned them of a tough road ahead. "Your journey is going to be difficult, be prepared. When we started women's cricket, a lot of people laughed — how can women play cricket? How can they sustain themselves? But we have managed; we set a base and foundation and today, we are the top team in the world."
Edulji, a left-arm spinner and right-handed batter, who represented India in 20 Tests and 34 ODIs, stressed that benefits for players are always a priority for CoA. "The three of us [Vinod Rai and Ravi Thodge] are looking more at benefits for players. The players have to only concentrate on performing on the ground and everything else will be looked after. We are seeing to it that these policy matters get framed in our constitution so that they cannot be changed after we are out on October 22 if the [BCCI] elections happen," Edulji added.
Gadkari recalled enjoying Mumbai's Dilip Vengsarkar's whirlwind century  in the Irani Cup against Rest of India at Nagpur in 1975 and assured the disabled team all support. The Physical Disability T20 World Series champion side got together for the first time after they beat hosts England in the final by 36 runs at Worcestershire last month.
However, AICAPC president Ashok Wadekar and General Secretary Ravi Chauhan did not attend the felicitation. It is learnt that Ashok, the younger brother of the late Ajit Wadekar, is in England while Chauhan did not receive the invitation for yesterday's function.
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