Shri Ananth Kumar, a strong votary of Blind Cricket and also welfare of the disabled, hosted a breakfast at his residence to honour the Indian Blind Cricket Players headed by Captain Mr. Shekhar Naik, a veteran of Blind Cricket himself, who has won numerous trophies in his blind cricket career. While bidding farewell to the Blind Cricket Team both Union Ministers expressed their hope that the team will hold the Indian tricolor high by winning the ODI Trophy at Cape Town, a trophy they won in 2012 also.
To motivate the players to put in their best in the ODI and bring the Trophy to India, Shri Ananth Kumar promised the players that he would ensure that they would meet the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi on their triumphant return; Shri Sonowal whole heartedly supported it.
Apart from the two Union Ministers the presence of a number of supporters at the breakfast press meet underlined the importance attached to disabled sports - senior officials from both Sports and Chemicals and Fertilizers Ministries were present. The Director General of Sports Authority of India and Joint Secretary Sports where among the important officials present.
President of CABI Mr. S P Nagesh, who is himself a Blind Cricketer and outstanding Athlete welcomed the Union Ministers and other distinguished guests. He requested the Government through the Ministers to help CABI in its quest for wider recognition of Blind Cricket in India, especially its long pending demand for Affiliation to BCCI for a level playing opportunity for the handicapped sports in the Country.
Mr Nagesh made a spirited appeal to the Union Ministers to provide adequate financial support to the Blind Cricket Team trip to South Africa. He pointed out that the grant of Rs 10 lakhs provided by the ministry was inadequate to cover the expenses of South Africa Trip and requested that the same be increased Rs 25 lakhs, in response to which the Sports Minister committed to increase the grant to Rs. 25 lakhs.
The Indian Blind Cricket Team bound for South Africa comprising twenty players from almost all states from India arrived in the capital on 22nd November and their stay and other requirements were looked after by the PCCAI (Physically Challenged Cricket Association of India) at Bhiwani, Haryana.
The Ministers honoured the captain and other members of the team by garlanding them and offering a shawl to each member.
Source : Business Standard , 24th Nov 2014