Disability leaves Indian deaf cricket team stranded

Aharon Abhishek

Australia v Sri Lanka: 3rd Test, Day 2

The Indian deaf cricket team, who were invited to play a week of cricket matches, were not allowed to board the connecting flight from Bangkok airways to Chiang Mai. The company policy stated the reason was their disability to hear.

David Buck, the Director for cricket at Prem’s academy, had the shock of his life when he heard that the Indian deaf cricket players were left stranded and were not allowed to board the flight to Chiang Mai due to company policy.

“We had arranged to sponsor the team to play here,” said Buck, who explained that the deaf cricket federation in India consisted of a very large pool of cricketers, but only 23 players had been chosen to play in Chiang Mai.

“I organised the trip, the transport, food, lodging, but they would find their own flights,” Buck said. The team flew from Delhi to Bangkok on Jetstar Air; but after they checked in and boarded their late night Bangkok Airways flight to Chiang Mai, they were in for a shock.

“It was announced that they had to get off the flight. The pilot refused to take the deaf group because of safety reasons,” Buck explained, adding, “We were already waiting for them in Chiang Mai airport with a welcoming committee. It was then we were informed that they had been asked to get off the flight because of company policy.”

Albeit a different carrier, not more than four people could board the same flight even if they had manages travel from India without any problems. This was the policy stated by the Bangkok Airways, who finally arranged a place to sleep outside the lounge as the lounge was closed and issued them food and drink.

Finally, the team managed to reach Chiang Mai the next day by four, though fifteen men boarded a large carrier aircraft on one flight.

The week’s cricket went ahead and Buck explained that “it all went really well, it was fabulous” and he added the cricket team were all very humble about what had happened in the airport. The airport authorities issued an order that each player had to carry his own passport and also show a proof stating that they were members of the cricket team, even if they had the India Cricket Federation blazers. No apology or compensation was offered so far to the team.

“We [Prem] is thinking about hosting the world deaf cricket championships here in Chiang Mai, but we will have to think about getting eight nations here for that,” Buck explained.

Source: Phuket News

Edited by Staff Editor


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