Furthering their efforts to build visibility and growth for the sport of deaf cricket in the country, KFC India today announced a partnership with the Indian Deaf Cricket Association (IDCA). The joint announcement was made today by Mr. Sumit Jain, President, Indian Deaf Cricket Association and Mr. Moksh Chopra, Chief Marketing Officer, KFC India along with Captain of the women’s national cricket team Mithali Raj, at a press briefing held in Delhi. The brand comes on-board as the ‘Principal Sponsor’ for IDCA starting this year, until the ICC Cricket World Cup for the Deaf in 2023. To mark the occasion, Sumit, Moksh and Mithali together unveiled a vibrant KFC + IDCA jersey for the national deaf cricket team, symbolic of the dynamic partnership of the brands. Taking forward the objective of nurturing potential with its KFC Kshamata programme, the brand will facilitate conducting tournaments, building visibility and exploring growth opportunities for speech & hearing-impaired cricketers, along with the Indian Deaf Cricket Association. Also present at the press briefing were cricketers representing different IDCA teams: Virender Singh, Captain (Himachal Pradesh), Rohit Saini, Wicketkeeper (Delhi), Yashwanth Naidu, Fast Bowler (Andhra Pradesh), Manjeet Kumar, All-rounder (Delhi), Akansha Tiwari, Captain (Delhi), Sanjeela Bansal, Wicketkeeper (Delhi) and Kajal Dhawan, Batsman (Delhi).
President of the IDCA, Sumit Jain, is a former cricketer himself and is known to be a beacon of hope for hearing impaired cricketers, with a vision to provide a platform for talent & endeavours to bring deaf cricket into mainstream cricket. Sharing his thoughts on the partnership, Sumit Jain, President, Indian Deaf Cricket Association, expressed, “We are really excited to partner with KFC India and would like to thank them for supporting a sport which needs stronger recognition not just in India but worldwide. I am thankful to all the support from the cricketing fraternity & officials. As an affiliate to the Deaf International Cricket Council, we look forward to the Deaf World Cup with the best players to represent India on an international stage.”
Commenting on the partnership, Moksh Chopra, Chief Marketing Officer, KFC India, said, “With our program, KFC Kshamata, we have been on a journey to maximise potential and support ability imbalance gaps; actively hiring 100+ hearing impaired team members to power our KFC restaurants; with a goal to double this count. Our partnership with the Indian Deaf Cricket Association marks a key milestone in our endeavour to maximise the potential and provide equal opportunities for persons with disability. As principal sponsors we will focus on driving visibility, skill development and extending growth opportunities for hearing impaired cricketers. Together with the IDCA we will support the growth of the sport of deaf cricket, at both national and international levels, including supporting the Indian cricket team at the Deaf Cricket World Cup.”
Gracing the event and endorsing the landmark partnership was Captain of the women’s national cricket team and Khel Ratna awardee, Mithali Raj. She added, “I have always admired the sheer talent, drive and endurance displayed at sports by differently abled persons, including deaf cricket. It is imperative that players receive the right training and support, that helps them break the biases of disability. The coming together of KFC India and the Indian Deaf Cricket Association in partnership is remarkable in stirring the conversation in this direction and I am extremely happy to be a part of this momentous announcement today. I wish the teams the very best for the upcoming matches as I gear up to cheer from the sidelines.”
There’s more to cheer on – IDCA has an exciting line-up for cricket-lovers starting now and all through the next year. With Domestic Tournaments as: Men T-20 National Cricket Championship for Deaf (NCCD) in Dec 2021; Junior U-19, T-20 National Cricket Championship for Deaf (NCCD) in Jan 2022; One-Day National Cricket Championship for Deaf (Men) (NCCD) in Feb 22; Women T-20 National Cricket Championship for Deaf (WNCCD) in Mar 2022 and International Tournaments as: Bilateral Series (Men); Deaf-ICC ODI Champions Trophy (Men) in Mar 2022; Bilateral Series (Men)and Deaf-ICC ODI World Cup (Men) in 2023.