Kolkata: Bangladesh cricket team had a unique practice here at the Eden Gardens today which may be an impetus for their much-needed victory against the Netherlands tomorrow.
The batters and bowlers led by their captain Shakib-Al Hasan bowled and batted in the nets at the Mecca of Indian cricket here against twenty boys and girls from various city schools, two of whom were hearing and speech impaired.
Under an initiative of ICC and UNICEF, the players from the neighbouring country played and interacted with the students who play cricket and are fans of Bangladeshi cricketers like Shakib-Al Hasan, Litton Das, Mahmudullah Riyad and Mustafizur Rahman.
These Bangladesh star players were seen imparting tips to the children on how to bowl, bat and field.
“I’m too glad to meet Litton Das whom we have seen playing in the Kolkata Knight Riders team in the IPL. In addition to important tips, we shook hands with him and took pictures. It’s like a dream come true to play with these international level cricketers,” said Krrish Manick, one of the participants.
The international players added hopes and inspired the next generation of players and team leaders in different walks of life. ICC and UNICEF’s ‘Cricket4good’ initiative brought the players to advocate messages to #BeAChampion through equality between girls and boys and on life skills, to help them become confident, work together and pursue an equal world. Resonating this thought, Sneha Mondal said after the brief practice session, “It felt good to have played with boys. I felt at par with the boys to play with the international cricketers.”
Apart from the thrill of playing with these stars, Tanisha Paswan said that the interaction helped them to understand how to overcome challenges in life like the ones that always happen on the ground. “Good communication among the team members in any field matters a lot. We have to go hand-in-hand with others as a team and bring victory,” said Tanisha who plays cricket.
Shuvam Rajwar, a speech and hearing-impaired boy said with the help of an interpreter, that this practice was useful to learn how to play in a team during a match. “I learnt to negotiate and take decisions with my team members,” he said.
It would be revealed after Bangladesh-Netherlands match tomorrow how helpful the unique practice was for the team from the neighbouring country.