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India's disabled cricketers out to rule

Updated on: 26 July,2019 07:22 AM IST  | 
Umaima Saeed |

Umaima Saeed on what caused each of these cricketers' disability long before they made it to the Wales-bound India's T20 Physically Disability World Cricket Series team

India's disabled cricketers out to rule

Vikrant Keni

While the Indian cricket team is back home from England and Wales without the World Cup trophy, India's handicapped cricket team will now travel to the same country to win another World Cup. In a first, a six-nation global tournament called the Physical Disability World Series will be played in England from August 5 in the T20 format. India, called Wadekar Warriors, will kickstart their campaign against England on August 6, while their game against arch-rivals Pakistan is scheduled on August 8. Here, we look at India's 16-member squad who will stretch every sinew to do the country proud.

Vikrant Keni (Captain and all-rounder)

Born: April 3, 1986
The captain of the Indian team, Keni's right hand was afflicted with polio since childhood. The Mumbaikar says that his passion for the game never made him feel disabled. The all-rounder has been playing in the physically challenged team since 2012, but this will be the first time he will be leading the team.

Kunal Phanase (Right-hand batsman)

Kunal Phanase

Born: June 11, 1994
Employed in Amazon as a customer service associate, the top-order batsman's left leg was damaged due to an unsuccessful hip surgery in his early childhood. Son of a farmer, Kunal belongs to a remote village which is 50 kms from Pune, and saw a leather ball for the first time only when he moved to Pune for his college education. It was in August 2012 when he played cricket for the first time with a leather ball, and within seven years, he is representing India.

Wasim Iqbal Khan (Right-hand batsman)

Wasim Iqbal

Born: March 10, 1992
THE youngest son of a farmer in Jammu and Kashmir, Wasim has a diploma in mechanical engineering. In 1998, the right-hand batsman suffered a fracture on his right leg while playing cricket, and despite several surgeries, failed to recover from the injury. While he has been playing cricket for over a decade, the tournament that brought him into limelight was the All India Cricket Association for Physically Challenged event in 2012.

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Tushar Paul (Wicketkeeper-batsman)

Tushar Paul

Born: March 17, 1983
Hailing from the City of Joy, the wicketkeeper-batsman holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and teaches the same subject in a city school to earn a living. Paul, son of a self-employed father, and a father to a nine-year-old son, lost his right leg when a bus hit him in a road accident in 1993. Due to a two-hour delay in the surgery, his right leg below the knee had to be amputated. Paul started playing cricket with the tennis ball in Class 7 and since 2003, he has been playing handicapped cricket with the soft leather ball. 

Ravindra Gopinath Sante (Left-hand batsman)

Ravindra Gopalnath Sante

Born: December 6, 1988

AFTER attaining a bachelor's degree in commerce, Mumbai's Ravindra currently works for the Railways after the death of his father. Six months after his birth, the middle-order batsman was given an injection for a recurring fever which incapacitated his entire right hand. Not among those who give up easily, Ravindra chose to become an elegant southpaw who is in the handicapped cricket team since the past five years.

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Suganesh Mahendaran (All-rounder)

Suganesh Mahnedran

Born: February 17, 1990
Son of an auto driver, Suganesh lost his left hand in a bike accident at Kanchipuram in 2012, and has been playing handicapped cricket ever since. Prior to the unfortunate incident, he played normal cricket for his school. Suganesh studied till Class 10. 

Debabrata Roy (Wicketkeeper)

Debarata Roy

Born: March 25, 1984
With a deceased father and minimal education, Kolkata's Debabrata supports his mother by doing odd jobs. An ankle deformity in early childhood didn't deter the wicketkeeper from playing cricket for the past 20 years. The team will be banking upon Roy's experience to guide them in the big games.

Anish Rajan (Left-arm spinner)

Anish Ranjan

Born: November 24, 1990
A mechanical engineer by degree, Rajan from Kerala chose to bowl left arm because he was born without a right arm. Son of a farmer, Rajan played for local clubs in Kerala before being scouted by the national handicapped team and is now a regular feature in the playing XI.

Anshul (All-rounder)


Born: December 28, 1994
Anshul was born to a cricketer-turned-cook who now prepares food at Delhi's AIIMS hospital. It was in 2013 when Anshul fell off a cycle which led to tubercular arthritis, which is a form of a hip infection. Upon the doctor's advice, Anshul had to get the infected part removed before it spread to his leg. The all-rounder has been playing for Delhi's DDCA league since 2010.

Ramesh Naidu (Leg-spinner)

Ramesh Naidu

Born: May 7, 1995
With a B Tech and M Tech degree from the prestigious IIT Chennai, Naidu is the most qualified cricketer in the team. Son of a driver who drives patients to and from an MRI scanning centre, Naidu is handicapped by birth. Neither does he have a right leg, nor fingers in both the hands. But despite the physical limitations, he is a leg-spinner of repute in handicapped cricket circles. Among many other tournaments, he has played the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association's fourth division league. 

Narendra Mangore (All-rounder)

Narendra Magore

Born: August 31, 1986
Hailing from Belgaum in Karnataka, Mangore quit studies after Class 12 to concentrate on cricket. Son of a grocery shop owner, the all-rounder doesn't have a left leg by birth. Captain of the South Zone in the inter-zone disabled cricket T20, his unbeaten 46 helped his team win the title two months ago. He has been playing division cricket since 2009.


Jithendra Vaddi Nagaraju (All-rounder)

Jithendra Nagaraju

Born: April 23, 1995
Son of a daily wage labourer, Jithendra attained a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the prestigious Christ College through a scholarship programme. At only one year and two months of age, the Bangalore boy was bitten by a snake on his right hand, and although four surgeries saved his hand from being amputated, it never functioned fully ever again. Having played for Rahul Dravid's second division team, the all-rounder got selected in the handicapped team in 2014.

Gurudas Ramdas Raut (All-rounder)

Gurudas Raut

Born: June 1, 1987
Employed in the Indian air force as an administrative worker, Raut was born without a left arm below his elbow. The all-rounder from Nagpur, who bowls right arm pace, famously clean-bowled Sachin Tendulkar in a net session in 2012. Raut has been playing with the leather ball since 2010.

Gurjant Singh (Left-arm pacer)

Gurjant Singh

Born: March 19, 1994
Son of a security guard in Qatar, Gurjant recently skipped his BA final exams to give all his time preparing for the marquee tournament. The left-arm pacer has had a club hand since birth and has been playing with the leather ball since 2013. 

Mandeep Singh Sran (Left-arm pacer)

Mandeep Singh

Born: October 4, 1993
A BA degree holder and then a diploma in computer engineering, Mandeep's love for cricket knows no physical limitations. A chaff-cutter claimed his left hand on the very first day of the junior state camp for which he was selected in 2007. Initially, a talented wicketkeeper-batsman, Mandeep turned into a fast bowler post the accident and now bowls at 130 kmph for the Indian handicapped team.

Amir Hassan Rather (Left-arm pacer)

Amir hassan Rather

Born: March 1, 1999
Studying in Class 12, Amir was six months old when the fingers of his right hand got burnt and had to be amputated due to an infection. The fast bowler, who can bowl at 130 kmph, has played for Jammu & Kashmir in the under-19 school nationals and is known as the prankster in the Indian team.

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