England may have lost the finals of the ICC Academy Dubai invitational T20 tournament but Liam Thomas won a lot of hearts for his heroic efforts for the team on the field. The tournament is for players with disabilities and England was playing Pakistan in the finals.
A footage emerged of England’s Liam Thomas diving to stop the ball from rolling over to the boundary. In the process, he lost his prosthetic limb but that didn’t stop him from retrieving the ball and throwing it back to the pitch. He then limped towards the detached limb.
His efforts were appreciated by everyone on the field. He was later quoted as saying that he was in a dilemma as to whether to go for the ball to retrieve the leg and decided on the latter. “I was sprinting for the ball, put my hand out, hit the deck hard and the next thing I know I stood up and had no leg,” he reportedly said, “I didn’t know whether to grab the leg or get the ball in. I decided to go for the ball.”
He said that the attention the incident received will help elevate the profile of the sport. “Having a disability, we all take the fun out of each other a little bit, we all have each other’s backs, so we are all trying to give each other grief when something like that happens,” he reportedly said.
— Saj Sadiq (@Saj_PakPassion) 30 October 2016
ECB’s disability chief Ian Martin had called on the ICC to do more for the game. The first disability World Cup was hosted in 2015 and had five teams participating in it; India, Pakistan and Afghanistan. The tournament was heavily subsidised by the International Red Cross. The ECB hope to stage a seven-team tournament in 2019.