International Day of Persons with Disabilities: Insights into the world of Blind Cricket
In lieu of the above, I would like to draw some light on Blind Cricket.
Rules of the Game
There are a few essential rules which have been laid out by the World Blind Cricket Council.
· A team comprises 11 players out of which 4 players must be totally blind, 3 partially blind and up to 4 players who are partially sighted.
· The ball which is used is bigger than the standard cricket ball filled with ball bearings. Both the features are unique as the bearings allow blind players to get an audible cue as to where the ball is pitching whereas the size of the ball helps the partially blind players to see the ball.
· The wickets are made of metal tubes painted in fluorescent colour. The bowler is required to shout ‘Play’ before throwing the ball.
· The bowler is required to bounce twice before it reaches a completely blind batsman whereas it’s required to bounce once before reaching a partially blind batsman.
40 Over Blind World Cup
The inaugural edition of the Blind 40 over World Cup took place in 1998 which was hosted by India. South Africa emerged as the winners after defeating Pakistan in the finals.
The following edition in 2002 saw both South Africa and Pakistan reach the finals with Pakistan getting the better of South Africa. In 2006, Pakistan beat their arch-rivals India in the finals to successfully defend their title.
The 2012 and 2018 editions saw both India and Pakistan reaching the finals once again with India beating Pakistan on both the occasions.
Blind T20 World Cup
The T20 format has been dominated by the Indians as they've won both the editions of the T20 World Cup by defeating Pakistan in both the finals in 2012 and 2017.
India has been a dominant force in Blind Cricket as well. India is the only nation to have won both the Blind T20 World Cup as well as the 40 over World Cup. India recently retained the World Cup in the 40 over format after beating their arch-rivals Pakistan by chasing down the target of 308 with 8 balls to spare. India had previously defeated Pakistan in the 2nd edition of the Blind T20 World Cup in 2017. On both the occasions, the Indians were led out by the experienced Ajay Kumar Reddy. He ended as the leading wicket-taker in the 2017 edition of the T20 World Cup and scored a vital 63 in the finals of the 2018 World Cup.