BENGALURU: Cricket Association for the Blind in India (CABI), the cricketing arm of Samarthanam Trust for the Disabled, which is hosting the 2nd T20 World Cup Cricket for the Blind, in Jan-Feb, 2017, today announced former Indian Cricketer and Captain Rahul Dravid as the Brand Ambassador for the tournament.
Thanking one of the greatest cricketers of all-time for pledging his support to the cause of cricket for the Blind in the world, CABI President Mahantesh G K said, “We are extremely delighted to announce that a legendary cricketer like Rahul Dravid is joining hands with us in our endeavor to spread the cause of cricket for the blind. His presence and encouragement will motivate thousands of youths to pursue the sport. We express our deep gratitude and are highly indebted to Rahul Dravid for his participation and generosity. It is a matter of great pride and honor to have him on board as a supporter and promoter of cricket for the blind.”
On taking up the role of being the Brand Ambassador for the 2nd T20 World Cup Cricket for the Blind, to be held in 2017, Rahul Dravid, ‘The Wall’ of Indian Cricket, said “It is deeply gratifying to be able to do my bit to support the cause of cricket for the blind, there is abundant cricketing talent in them and they are a great inspiration, reminding us that real vision lies inside of us and nothing in the world can blind it. Growth of Cricket for the Blind in India and in the world will encourage people with special needs to trust in their inner abilities and unleash their true potential.”
The tournament will be played from January 28 to February 12, with the tournament inaugural hosted in New Delhi and the Tournament Grand Finale in Bengaluru. 10 Countries – India, Australia, Bangladesh, England, Nepal, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka and West Indies will be participating in the World Cup. The tournament will be played on a league-cum-knockout basis in multiple cities across India.
Rahul Dravid launched CABI's 'Support Blind Cricket by buying a Cricket Ball' campaign on the occasion. Students and general public can purchase a cricket ball online www.blindcricket.in to support the cause of cricket for the blind.
“Cricket is more than a religion in India and supporting the passion among visually impaired strengthens the inherent sportsmanship. The game imparts discipline, teamwork, fitness, strategic planning and competitiveness with focus on skills rather disabilities. Eventually, blind cricket would help the visually impaired integrate into mainstream and offer employment opportunities. Cricket for the Blind in India needs avid support and continuous financial contribution & sponsorships from society, corporate and the Government towards development of the game, infrastructure, tournament expenses and player fee. Expenses towards Hosting and Organizing the 2nd T20 World Cup Cricket for the Blind is evaluated at INR 24.5 Crores, I appeal to the corporate, govt. and people of the country to come forward to sponsor and contribute, your contribution can light up the lives of these cricketers and would be a great source of encouragement. All contributions are exempt from Income Tax under 80G. Additionally, it is also listed under the Para-Sports category of Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative.” added Mahantesh.