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HyderabadDifferently-abled athlete Mahesh in a league of his own

Differently-abled athlete Mahesh in a league of his own

Published: 3rd Dec 2021 1:06 am

Hyderabad: For an athlete to excel in a sport, it requires a lot of hard work and dedication. Imagine what it takes for a differently-abled athlete to excel. But 28-year-old Deeravath Mahesh is making waves not just in one sport but two. He is not only representing India in volleyball, but is also the captain of the Indian cricket team for differently-abled.

Hailing from Lingapur thanda in Muduchintalapalli mandal of Medchal district, Mahesh lost his right arm when he fell from the roof of his house at the age of six. Coming from a family of daily wagers, Mahesh too worked as a labourer and as a newspaper boy to provide for his family. However, he was driven by passion to excel in sports. “I never felt I was a differently-abled. I wanted to do something in life and inspire others. I wanted to make my parents feel proud,” says Mahesh.

He came to know about special games for differently abled in 2009 and focused on training in cricket. He was selected for the district team and later for the State team before making it to the Indian team in 2019.

But what made him take to volleyball as well? “When I came to know that cricket was not an Olympic sport, I decided to play volleyball and worked my way into the Indian team. My dream is to play in the cricket World Cup and represent India in the Olympics in volleyball,” he said.

Mahesh represented India in international volleyball tournaments held in Thailand, Sri Lanka and China. He has three international medals and has been part of the Indian team that finished third in the Volleyball World Championship in 2019. He also took part in the Indian Beach Volleyball World Series in 2019.

An all-rounder in cricket, who bowls medium pace, Mahesh was part of the Indian team that took on Bangladesh in three ODIs, three T20s and also led India in the one-off Test in Hyderabad recently. He is also part of the Indian team scheduled to tour New Zealand for an ODI series in February next.

How does he manage to train for both disciplines? “I focus on cricket for four days and three days on volleyball. Unlike regular sports, we don’t have much support as people are not aware of para sports,” he laments. “The bats we use are also weightless which are costly. There are a lot of challenges. Hope we too get recognition like other athletes,” adds Mahesh, who admires Sachin Tendulkar.


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