Kashmir witnessed a different kind of cricket for the first time when a tournament was organized for the visually-impaired players in the valley. The two-day tournament, which began on Saturday, is being organized by Jammu and Kashmir Handicap Association to encourage such players to take part in sports and boost their morals to help them make a career in sports.
“Public has given a good response to it and some NGOs and organisations have also supported us. However, from the government, we have only been provided with hostels and nothing else. Players are very happy and excited to play. In this blind cricket, the ball is a bit different and the rules are also different, depending on the category: Blind 1, Blind 2, Blind 3,” Abrar Ahmad, one of the organizers was quoted as saying to ANI.
Sheraz Ahmed, a blind cricketer who is also participating in the tournament, was elated with the initiative and hopes to have more such tournament in the state. “We are very happy because there was no awareness and we want such tournaments to take place in Kashmir also as they took place in other states,” he said.
In a country where cricket is worshipped by millions, blind cricket in India has always been in the backfoot as compared to the other forms of the game. In terms of success the Indian national blind cricket team are no less than the Virat Kohli & Cos. They have also won two 50-over World Cups and one T20 World Cup and are the most successful team in the history of blind cricket.
However, despite their continued success, the players live in the dark and face huge economic crisis after their career ends. The Indian team is run by Cricket Association for Blind in India (CABI) which is not an entitled organization of BCCI and work on their own without much of a help from the mainstream Indian cricket. But in recent times things are looking slightly better with players like Virat Kohli raising awareness for blind cricket.