Hazira, 3rd Feb 2017
The Essar Freedom Cup 2017 was held at Nand Niketan Stadium, within Essar’s Nand Niketan Township, from 1st to 3rd February 2017. This year, the tournament was held at the zonal level, where six teams from the zone belonging to the state of Gujarat and Maharashtra participated in the three-day tournament. The Essar Freedom Cup is one of the most sought after sports platforms for the differently abled. It is lauded as a launchpad for cricketing talent especially in the Western region of the country, and is growing larger each year.
With exciting twists and a show of high quality all-round performance, Maharashtra emerged the winner by defeating Gujarat by 13 runs. Four teams from Gujarat – namely Saurashtra, Baroda, Gujarat and President XI and two teams from Maharashtra - Mumbai team and Maharashtra team, participated in the event. The tournament will pave the way for the winning team to play at the inter-zonal tournament, from where the national team representing India will be selected.
The tournament was conducted under the aegis of the All India Cricket Association for the Physically Challenged – Mumbai, and was supported by the Gujarat Cricket Association for the Differently Abled- Ahmedabad and Viklang Kalyan Society Trust- Surat.
The tournament was inaugurated by Sri Ajit Wadekar, former India Cricket Team Captain and BCCI Secretary, and Sri TP Mirajkar - Secretary, All India Cricket Association for the Physically Challenged – Mumbai, Dr MK Vadel, Medical Superintendent, New Civil Hospital and President of the District Disability and Rehabilitation Centre, President and Secretary of Gujarat Cricket Association for the Differently Abled- Ahmedabad, Trustees of the Viklang Kalyan Society and senior officials of Essar Steel. During the inaugural session, six players were honoured for representing Indian cricket at the international level.