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Disabled cricketers have a gala time in Delhi

DNIS News Network - Special Olympics Delhi (SOD) organised a two-day cricket tournament from September 15 at Jamia Milia Islamia University grounds.

The tournament had 48 teams from across Delhi divided into 11 zones; each zone played a 12-over match. Without the pressure that usually follows the senior national squad, the players, all above 15 years old, had a ball. The participants, all with physical or mental impairments, were divided into high ability and low ability groups, depending on their performance in the matches.

Harpreet Singh of the SOD said: "Their enthusiasm was unbelievable. Though the results were important, their only desire was to play. They wanted to bat, bowl and field, no matter who won at the end of the day."

Rajdeep Singh, a student from Poorti Special School took away title for the best left-arm spinner. He loves the game and adores Irfan Pathan and idolises Sachin Tendulkar. He recalled his greatest moment, when he was selected as part of this team to take on Sachin Tendulkar XI for a promotional venture: "Although I did not get to speak him, at least shook hands with him."

40 players are yet to be selected from the city for the National Tournament in Ahmedabad in December this year, where the final selections for Shanghai Special Olympics 2007 will be made.