The Indian contingent for the Asia Pacific T20 tournament at JRD Tata Sports Complex on Friday. Picture by Bhola Prasad
Call them the fantastic four of Jamshedpur.
Special lads Md Sajid, Vivek Vishal, Rohit Nag and Ritik Raut have found slots in the 28-member Indian squad that will participate in the maiden Asia Pacific Unified Cricket T20 tournament to be held in Dhaka from May 27 to June 2.
Officials of Special Olympics Bharat (SOB) announced the two teams of 14 players each at JRD Tata Sports Complex on Friday. While Sajid and Vivek will represent team India A, Rohit and Ritik have made it to the India B squad.
Ruchi Narendran, wife of Tata Steel managing director T.V. Narendran, gifted tracksuits to the selected players as a thoughtful gesture. While the tracksuits were sponsored by SOB, Tata Steel had earlier presented caps to all four.
Though this is not the first time that Rohit is representing his country on an international platform, he is still excited. The Asha Kiran student was a part of the football team from India in the Asia Pacific Regional Games held in Australia last year.
Since Rohit cannot speak, his aunt Seema Nag said the boy was very happy and would give his best shot in the upcoming tournament.
While Sajid, like Rohit, is also with Asha Kiran, Vivek hones his skill at Sidheshwari School for Deaf and Dumb and Ritik is from School of Hope.
According to the tournament’s rules, each participating team will have 14 players within the age group of 16 to 21 years. Of these, nine in each team have to be special boys. Altogether eight outfits, including the two from India, will vie for the trophy.
Head of the delegation to Bangladesh Prakash Rath told The Telegraph that they tried their best to form a balanced side. “It’s an unified squad. The so-called normal boys are referred to as partners of their counterparts with special abilities. This is the inaugural edition of the tournament and we are hoping for the best,” he added.
The two teams will leave for Calcutta on May 27 after a short camp in the steel city. They will reach Dhaka by road on May 28.
Tata Steel sports department chief Farzan Heerjee, head Charles Borromeo, Jharkhand Special Olympics assistant area director Satbir Singh Sahota were among those present on the occasion.