Cricket is an obsession in India and the blind are no exception. The 2012 World Cup Champions of the 1st ever T20 Blind Cricket tournament are embarking on another adventurous tour to test their grit and metal. On 13th February 2014 the team of 15 players cross the Wagha border on foot to play the traditional competitors Blind Cricket Team of Pakistan in 3 ODIs and 3 T20 matches. Detailed schedule of the matches is appended with this note.
In his inaugural address Shri Mahantesh G Kivadasannavar, General Secretary CABI and Founder Managing Trustee Samarthanam Trust for the Disabled acknowledged the support received from Government of India and other corporate and individual friends because of whose support Samarthanam CABI is able to continue promoting cricket for the blind in the country. He said that it is such support and encouragement which will take the sport a long way. It will also encourage BCCI to consider affiliating with CABI for which CAABI is still striving hard to achieve.
Speaking on the occasion Shri Nagesh President of CABI briefed about the forthcoming tour and the schedules. He also mentioned about Australian Blind Cricket team’s visit to Bangalore India in the month of April for a friendly series between the 13th and 15th of the month. He spoke about the preparations taking place for the proposed World Cup to be held at South Africa at the end of this year and the Indian team’s readiness to continue the winning spree. He requested the GOI of India to consider giving Arjuna Award or any of the other special awards meant for sports persons in India to Blind Cricketers as well. He thanked Sports Authority of India for assuring a grant for organizing the tour to Pakistan.
Addressing the Press Conference, Shri Oscar Fernandes, Hon’ble Minister for Road Transport & Highways, Government of India and Chief Patron Cricket Association for the BIind in India, (CABI) congratulated the organizers and the team for enhancing country’s fame through the most popular sport in the country. He recalled the Indian Blind cricket team’s excellent performance during the T20 World Cup in December 2012 and their victory over the arch rivals team Pakistan. He wished the team all success in the forthcoming competition as well. Shri Oscar praised Samarthanam and the founders for their commendable work in promoting persons with visual impairments in achieving heights of success and assured his continued support through Government India for such commendable endeavors. His clear message to the team was to continue the winning spree and continue making the country proud.
Shri Ajeet Singh Patwa President National Association for the Blind spoke about their experience in promoting Blind cricket in the state of Haryana and working closely with CABI to extend their support at the National level. He assured of continued support to the body and wished the Indian team good luck and expressed confidence in their continued winning spree.
Speaking on the occasion Captain of Indian team expressed high level of confidence in the team and their fitness levels. He said the team is excited about the forthcoming series and looks forward to winning the same.
Speaking on the occasion one of the players Iqbal Mohammad Jafar explained the rigorous practice sessions they underwent since 4th February under the able guidance of the coach Mr. Patrick who concentrated on their fitness and readiness. The manager Mr. David has instilled lot of confidence among the players. He said the team spirit and coordination in the team is excellent. He requested the media to carry the story of Blind cricket across India which is the only way to ensure the sport receives its due recognition.
CABI is greatly indebted to Shri Oscar Fernandes and Rajiv Sardesai for their continued cooperation and encouragement.
Organized by CABI and Samarthanam, the Press Conference also featured the members of the Blind cricket team who leave Delhi for Pakistan on February 13th. Between February 14th and 24th, the team will play their Pakistani counterparts in the Indo-Pak Bilateral Series of 3 T20 and 3 ODI international matches in Pakistan. A detailed schedule is highlighted below:
Itinerary of Indian Blind Cricket Team Tour to Pakista
Dates Purpose Venue
13th February 2014 Arrival of Indian team
15th February 2014 1st T-20 Lahore Gymkhana Cricket Ground, Bagh-e-Jinnah Lahore
16th February 2014 2nd T-20 Bohran Wala Cricket Ground Faisalabad
17th February 2014 3rd T-20 Bohran Wala Cricket Ground Faisalabad
19th February 2014 1st ODI Southend Cricket Stadium, DHA Karachi
21st February 2014 2nd ODI National Cricket Stadium, Karachi
23rd February 2014 3rd ODI National Cricket Stadium, Karachi
24th February 2014 Departure of Indian team
Team List of Indian Blind Cricket team is as follows:
S No. Name Category State
1. Lachma Shekar Naik (Captain) B3 Karnataka
2. Pooniya Hanuman B3 Rajasthan
3. Karuppu Ramesh B3 Tamilnadu
4. Deepak B3 Haryana
5. Ganvit Ganeshbhai Rupabhai B3 Gujarat
6. Illuri Ajaykumar Reddy (VC) B2 Andhra Pradesh
7. Dunna Venkateswara Rao B2 Andhra Pradesh
8. Majhi Sukhram (Wicket Keeper B2 Odisha
9. Wagh Swapnil Di;ip B2 Maharastra
10. Patel Hiteshbhai Gamanbhai B2 Gujarat
11. Patel Ketanbhai Babubhai B1 Gujarat
12. Iqbal Mohammed Jafar B1 Odisha
13. Bhoya Subhash Soniyabhai B1 Gujarat
14. Satbir Singh B1 Haryana
15. Mangadi Kuttan Anish B1 Kerala
16. Endal John David Manager-Karnataka
17. Joseph Patrick Rajkumar Coach-Karnataka
Source : Odhisha Diary , 12th Feb 2014