CABI Secretary challenges Virat Kohli's troops to play blindfold match against Indian blind cricket team
What's the story?
John David, Secretary of Cricket Association for the Blind in India (CABI), has challenged Virat Kohli's troops to play blindfolded in a televised match against their blind counterparts. Shedding light on the challenges facing the blind cricketers, he recalled a recent incident when the likes of Ravindra Jadeja and Rohit Sharma struggled to trace the ball when playing blindfolded.
"Our team got to play a bit against the mainstream Indian team in 2015. Ravi Shastri bowled and commented, 'If I shut my eyes for a moment, I don't know where I am.' It's not as easy as it appears", John David told India Today.
Hoping for the two Indian teams to play a televised cricket match, he quipped, "(Recently) they played a demo match where the Indian team was blindfold. Ravindra Jadeja was kneeling down and searching for the ball and Rohit mocked giving a tap on the head, you can't even trace the ball. People will know about the level of difficulty that goes in playing cricket without eyesight."
In case you didn't know...
Divided into three categories, the playing eleven in a blind cricket match comprises of at least four completely blind players (B1), usually three players with vision up to a distance of three meters (B2) and a maximum of four players with vision up to a distance of six meters (B3).
The heart of the matter
The Indian blind cricket team is arguably the most successful team in the history of the sport. They won the World Cup during the previous two editions of the tournament in 2014 and 2018. They also lifted the World T20 on both instances of the tournament in 2012 and 2017. In addition to those triumphs, the visually challenged 'Men in Blue' have also won the Asia Cup on two occasions.
Despite their unparalleled success in the sport, the key members of the Indian blind team have not quite gotten their deserved recognition. Revealing the problems faced by some of the players who are also employed in other sectors, John David called upon the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to help provide financial security for the visually challenged cricketers.
Having pledged their support for the Indian blind cricket team, BCCI are considering CABI's pleas to support the players by offering proper practice facilities.
Divulging that the visually challenged players are massive fans of prominent Indian stars like Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni, John David has also forwarded their interest in a meet and greet session between the two teams.
Admittedly, not many in the country take interest in following the performances of India's blind cricket team. However, considering the circumstances surrounding them and their successful record in multi-team tournaments, the visually challenged players deserve to be cherished as national heroes.
As for the proposed televised face-off against Kohli's Indian team, the experience of playing blindfolded could help the high-profile stars become aware of the plight of their visually challenged counterparts.