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Friday, December 12, 2014

India beats Pak to win Blind Cricket World Cup 2014 - Shri Modi meets players !

The rivalry is set so deep in mind that any Indo-Pak game and India emerging winners is big news – be it Cricket, Hockey or any other game – still the WC victory is not as well reported in the media.

Blind cricket was invented Melbourne in 1922 by two blind factory workers who improvised the game using a tin can containing rocks.  Blind cricket is a version of the sport of cricket adapted for blind and partially sighted players. It has been governed by the World Blind Cricket Council (WBCC) since 1996. The rules of blind cricket are based on the standard Laws of cricket with some essential modifications. In terms of playing equipment, the major adaptation is the ball, which is significantly larger than a standard cricket ball and filled with ball bearings. The size allows partially sighted players to see the ball and the contents allow blind players to hear it. The wicket (stumps) is also larger, to allow partially sighted players to see and blind players to touch it in order to correctly orient themselves when batting or bowling. Various other modifications to the rules apply. Verbal signals are widely used both by umpires and players: in particular, the bowler must shout 'Play!' as he releases the ball. The delivery is required to pitch at least twice when bowled to a completely blind batsman (once when bowled to a partially sighted batsman), but must not be rolling. Totally blind batsmen cannot be out stumped, and must be found to be LBW twice before going out. Totally blind fielders are allowed to take a catch on the bounce.

So far, four Blind World Cups have been held, New Delhi, India (1998); Chennai, India (2002) and Islamabad, Pakistan (2006). In 2012, the first Blind World Cup T20 was held in Bangalore.  South Africa won first BCWC in 1998 defeating Pakistan in the finals. The first T20 Blind Cricket World Cup was held in Banglore, India in 2012. India defeated Pakistan by 29 runs in the final.

Even as Cricket Association for the Blind continues to struggle for support, Indian team successfully chased  390 in 40 overs and beat defending champions Pakistan in final of the Blind Cricket World Cup (BCWC) at the Wally Wilson Cricket Ground in Cape Town, South Africa on Sunday. Pakistan scored 389 runs for the loss of 7 wickets in 40 overs. Pakistan's Muhammad Jamil made his third century, scoring 107 runs. India managed to reach the target in 39.4 overs, losing 5 wickets in the process. Indian batsmen, Prakasha Jayaramaiah scored 82 runs, while Ajay Reddy made 74.  Jayaramaiah guided  his team to win in the Blind Cricket World Cup final -  India’s  first-ever victory in the four editions of the Blind World Cup, avenging  their loss to Pakistan in the final of the last edition held in Islamabad in 2006. India's blind cricketers are used to winning, having previously bagged the T20 World Cup at home in 2012.

Sachin Tendulkar took to Twitter to salute the heroes. "Congratulations to Indian Visually Impaired Cricket team on winning the World Cup. Should inspire the potential world beaters in the country," he tweeted. Sports minister Sarbananda Sonowal also lauded the boys, saying "India's maiden triumph in the Blind Cricket world cup shows that these players are not only talented but have the ability to be the best in the world." The sports ministry funded the team's trip for the World Cup, providing them Rs 25 lakh.  There is further happiness for them as each member of the team was  handed a cash reward of Rs. 5 lakh by sports minister Sarbananda Sonowal.

Cabinet minister for social justice and empowerment Thawar Chand Gehlot also said that his ministry will also give Rs. 2 lakh to each of the players. Earlier, the players and the team officials were received at the IGI airport by Gehlot, another cabinet minister chemical and fertilizers Ananth Kumar and Sonowal in the morning. The players joys knew no bounds as they had personal audience with Shri Narendra Modi and posed for photos.  India will host the 2016 Blind Cricket T20 World Cup.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

12th Dec 2014.

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