History & perspective of Blind Cricket:
Blind Cricket is a version of the sport of cricket adapted for blind and partially sighted players. The sport that is being played since the 1920s. 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. The stumps are made of hollow steel pipes welded into one set, to enable totally blind players to touch it in order to correctly align himself when batting or bowling also to produce a sound when struck by a ball.
Blind people were initiated into the game of cricket primarily through radio commentaries. They soon found a way of playing the game by replacing the ball with an empty tin and using a stick as a bat. Using an empty tin in place of ball was necessary because of the need for audio clues to play the game. A normal cricket ball would not make the amount of noise necessary for a visually impaired person to make out the location of the ball and play the game. This was the beginning of the audio game of cricket in its most primitive form in India.
Over the years, audio balls replaced the empty tin, and bats are used in place of sticks. National Institute for the Visually Handicapped (NIVH), Dehradun, developed the audio ball that is now accepted as the international standard. This ball is made of hard plastic with ball bearings inside.
Some of the aspects of the game have been modified to make it suitable for the visually impaired.
Various other modifications to the rules apply. Verbal signals are widely used by both 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 batsman, but must not be rolling. Totally blind fielders are a allowed to take a catch on the bounce.
Sport for the blind is a rightful pursuit, and a platform for physical and social development. The visually impaired like any should have the opportunity to be a part of sporting glory. Cricket in India is a religion and visually impaired are no exception. The visually impaired are equally passionate about cricket and overcome great odds to play the game. Cricket for the blind has exposed visually impaired players to important aspects of life, which they are otherwise denied merely due to their disability—discipline, teamwork, fitness, strategic planning, competitiveness and sportsman spirit. The focus is on their skills and not their disability.
As a spectator sport, blind cricket could go a long way in helping the visually impaired integrate into the mainstream.
Objectives of the Project:
To rise above disability and focus on ability. Use the game as a medium to demonstrate ability and talent.
Use competitive cricket in order to enable the visually challenged to look at life positively, gain confidence and strive to be winners.
Broaden outlook by providing a unique platform, exposure and the opportunity to travel across the country and abroad.
CABI, a dedicated sport wing of Samarthanam has taken tremendous responsibility to execute various activities for blind players who are keenly interested in achieving their ambitions. The major activity executed by CABI is “T20 World Cup for the Blind” which had 8 International teams participating in December 2012. CABI has organized a series of events at state, national and international levels. The list of activities CABI has organized and conducted are as follows:
In the year 2011 CABI organized 18th National Cricket Tournament for the Blind in Mysore.
Corporate cricket Tournament was conducted to motivate blind cricket players and to sensitize the public.
The T20 World Cup for the Blind started from unveiling ball for blind cricket, launching logo for the upcoming tournament, unveiling of Mascot and much more.
Series of press meets announcing first ever T20 World Cup for the Blind.
Organized National Blind Cricket Tournament and National Selection trials for selecting the best players in the country.
Organized Indo-Australia T20 Series in the month of April 2014, in India and Indians won the prestigious cup.
As a result India lifted the first ever T20 World Cup for the Blind against the defending team of feisty Pakistan.
Impact of Blind Cricket:
This game motivates youth who are visually-impaired to stand up and face the world while achieving their dreams. The game helps the players to gain self confidence in leading independent lives on their own and helping their dependants to lead a quality living. Visually impaired youth who are power packed with numerous talents find this to be a platform to share their best practices of the game and encourage their peers to achieve big in their lives. The blind cricketers have found global presence and recognition in the field of sports. The community around has been sensitised which has resulted in increased involvement of the community through volunteering with Samarthanam. The players of the winning team have received great amount of recognition from their respective local communities and also the government. Some of them have been given assurances of jobs in Government.
Hence the game is being created as a forum to players to experiment with their skills and knowledge in the game, improve their networking with fellow members. Awareness about the game increases as it is being spread across various horizons of the country.