Pioneer Anish Rajan proves she is more than capable

KOCHI: We can beat any normal cricket team, not just teams with physical disabilities, these were the words of Anish P Rajan after India won the T20 Physical Disability World Championship Defeat England's hosts in the final on Tuesday. While it may seem like a wrong trust, you realize that it is pure confidence in yourself when you hear about Anish's journey.

One needs such self-confidence to challenge a congenitally deformed right hand to play and excel in all games at school, to prove that people are wrong again and again and play junior and club cricket against people without disabilities, and finally represent the country and play a key role in its success.

Anish, 28, from Cheruthoni in Idukki, was the only one. Kerala player in the 20-member team from India that competed in the five-team World Physical Disability Championship that has just concluded in England. Mainly a left-arm spinner and an effective low-order hitter, Anish took 11 wickets, including a fifth against Bangladesh that earned him the Party Player award, for India in five games and was one of the safest fielders on the team. .

It is a dream come true to put on the national shirt and win a tournament for the country. We have always believed that we could win it because we had the 20 best players in the country and the coach had perfect strategies for each game, Anish said. He told TOI from the UK. India, trained by Sulakshan Kulkarni , the former Mumbai wicketkeeper, won his five games.

Born as the third child of his parents, Anish was fortunate that his family never discouraged him from pursuing his passion for the sport despite his disability. I played soccer, volleyball and table tennis, but it is a cricket that I always wanted to play seriously. My brother always encouraged me and wanted me to play normal cricket. I played cricket U-17 and U-19 for Idukki and Sachin Baby (Kerala Ranji Trophy captain) was my first captain, said Anish, who joined the Tripunithura Cricket Club (TCC) following the advice of former Kerala captain and coach P Balachandran, who saw the spinner's gift on the left arm in one of the camps.

CBT has given me everything. I have practiced daily there and played in the A division league for almost seven years. It was only in 2017 that I met cricket for people with disabilities through our coach Robin Menon, who helped me. Entering Kerala's team, said Anish, who also holds a mechanical engineering degree. Anish captained the disabled Kerala team and then took 10 wickets for the southern zone to become the best bowler in a zonal tournament held in Haryana in a series of impressive performances that led to his selection for the national team.

Anish hopes that her success story can become an inspiration to many people. I have already received calls from many disabled people who want to play cricket. I will be happy if those who thought it was beyond them to play cricket now enter the game, he said.

Anish in PD World Championship

vs Bangladesh - 15/5 and DNB

vs Afghanistan - 12/3 and 20 races

vs England - 1/21 and 7 races

vs Pakistan - 1/19 and DNB

vs England (final) - 1/29 and DNB