Gilchrist bats for bikes for disabled kids

April 22nd, 2009 - 3:20 am ICT by IANS  

By Fakir Hassen
Cape Town, April 22 (IANS) Deccan Chargers captain Adam Gilchrist will be hoping that he can get a start to his mission at the Sahara Newlands Stadium Wednesday to hit 25 sixes in the Indian Premier League (IPL) to help fund 25 modified bikes for children with disabilities.

Gilchrist, who failed to hit a six against Kolkata Night Riders Sunday though his team registered their first win of the tournament, will try to do better against Bangalore Royal Challengers in the eighth game of the series which is being played out across South Africa.

Each time Gilchrist hits a six, a child with disabilities in his native Australia will receive the gift of wheels with a modified bike through Amway’s Freedom Wheels programme, which Amway runs in partnership with the Technical Aid to the Disabled (TAD).

Every bike is modified to suit the individual child. This allows children with disabilities to enjoy riding a bike - often for the first time in their lives.

“As a father of three kids, I know how much fun riding a bike can be for a child. Now, every six I hit means a smile on a child’s face,” Gilchrist said, adding that he had been training hard to clear the boundary as often as he could.

Gilchrist described his opening game in IPL 2009 as having left him a little nervous as he had not played any competitive cricket in the last 12 months.

“It was bit like my under-14 days where when you have an off-season you go and play a winter sport and pick the bat up again once the sun is out.

“I could not have hoped for a better start here. It was a thoroughly professional show and every member of the team played his part to perfection,” Gilchrist said in a message on the Deccan Chargers website.

While South African players and administrators have said that the IPL 2009 is a learning ground for young Indian players, Gilchrist noted that cricketers from other countries had a lot to learn from the Indian stars as well.

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