Introduction- I’m Ghazal Khan, Co-Founder & CEO of Divyang Premier League (DPL) T-20, CEO of Divyang Cricket Control Board of India, Head of Indian Wheelchair Cricket, Secretary of International Affairs of International Cricket Council for the Physically Challenged and very recently I’m appointed as the Director International Affairs at International Council of Wheelchair Cricket.
My journey- I’m the daughter of ‘Khooni, Katil & Jallad’, you might be surprised by hearing such names of my father. But yes, it was the identity of my father Mr. Haroon Rasheed, right arm medium pacer with a deadly bowling pace with a record of breaking more than 50 stumps during his early cricket career. He used to confuse batsmen to play and made them injured so they called him ‘Khooni, Katil & Jallad’. Unfortunately, his cricket career ends due to an accident.
He introduced proper Disability Cricket in India with same leather ball, bat, field and the rules applied to the normal cricket. Also, with his hard struggle he introduced this in the neighboring countries like Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, etc. He is also the founder of Wheelchair Cricket.
During my schooling, I used to help him in drafting emails, letters, etc. so I had a good knowledge about disability cricket. In 2014 I joined his organization as a volunteer, now I’m serving as CEO in DCCBI. Inspite of being the daughter of the Founder and General Secretary, I struggled very hard & faced so many failures, but I’m very proud of what I’m today.
Divyang Premier League- DPL is the only franchise based, cricket league planned for the Disabled Cricketers of the world similarly IPL. During the lockdown when everything was locked in the homes, the news of IPL to be organized in UAE spread a happiness in India. Indian Cricket fans were humbly waiting for the IPL. We also get the messages from our Disabled cricketers about our planning of Disability Cricket. This was the moment when an idea to organize DPL in UAE comes in the mind of my father and we started to make a rough plan about DPL. We started to find connections to make a team to execute the plan. Finally, we got a contract of 1.5 Cr for organizing DPL in UAE. But just before 10-15 days of the inauguration ceremony date, the sponsor refused to pay. It was a shock for all of us. Players were waiting to departure UAE, for their dream tournament. It is said that ‘If you have a good aim, God helps you’, and exactly the same was done with us. MPL, ACE Edusports and Kamal Haasan were been messiah for us. With their help we organized DPL T-20 season 1 successfully at Sharjah International Stadium, Sharjah, UAE in the month of April 2021.
Now, we are working for DPL T-20 season 2 again at UAE. Season 1 was a little step, but season 2 has grown bigger with a wide project plan. Physically challenged cricketers from all over the world are going to participate in 8 teams. Disability Cricket has its own value, it not only entertains us but also inspires us to never give up. To work for the people with disabilities is such a great noble cause, which gives us satisfaction of doing something beneficial for inner peace. DPL is a complete mixture of Kindness, Inspiration, Motivation, Nobility & Cricket and as a result it entertains everyone in a different way in the whole world.
Blockbuster revolution- With DPL T-20, we aim to provide the Disability Cricketers the same dignity as the normal Cricketers. Recently, paralympians participated in Tokyo Olympics, won the hearts of every Indians with their medals. According to the census of India 2001, there are 2,19,06,769 people with disabilities. We cannot ignore such a great number of people. They also have their aims, their passions, they desire to be a star, I don’t find any differences in normal people and the people with disabilities. So, I planned to make DPL T-20 a revolutionary blockbuster for the people with disabilities with a target to make DPL T-20 loveable cricket league in India and the world like IPL. I know it’s very challenging but I am very faithful of the success of DPL.
‘Heere ko chamka kar itihas nahin banta,
Mujhe mitti ke katron ko Kohinoor banana hai’
We are not working for sympathy we are working to give a platform to the rejected talent. I can see a bright vision of my Physically Challenged cricketers rocking on television advertisements, film directors making films on them, celebrity status of them, people taking autographs and clicking selfies with them. Today it is just a vision, very soon it is going to be real.