Turning a Nelson’s Eye to blind cricketers

Turning a Nelson’s Eye to blind cricketers
Highlights

There was a sense of poignancy the moment one entered the CNR Cricket Grounds in Nagole on Thursday morning. Yes, cricket was all-around the ground but what brought about the change in one’s moods and sentiments was the enthusiasm that was on show by not only the players but also the officials running the show.

There was a sense of poignancy the moment one entered the CNR Cricket Grounds in Nagole on Thursday morning. Yes, cricket was all-around the ground but what brought about the change in one’s moods and sentiments was the enthusiasm that was on show by not only the players but also the officials running the show.


Unlike a regular cricket match, here the fundamental difference was that it marked the commencement of competitions in the 21st National Cricket Tournament for the Blind, which is being co-hosted by Devnar Foundation for the Blind that is spearheaded by Dr Saibaba Goud. The bubbling spirit displayed by the players was a sight to behold in that there were never any signs of remorse or disappointment as they seemed to enjoy their game as would any player.


On the conclusion of the Zonal tournaments, eight teams have qualified for the main draw and features Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Haryana, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, Karnataka and Maharashtra. Incidentally, some of those who were part of the Indian team that won the World Cup-2014 in South Africa are also in town. Earlier, the tournament was formally inaugurated late Wednesday evening at Delhi Public School in Nacharam, the official sponsors of the tournament.


The show was organised by school Chairman Komaraiah and Director of Academics, Sudha. G K Mahantesh, founder-secretary of the Cricket Association for the Blind in India and Vice-President of the global body, hoped that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) would recognise blind cricket, sooner than later. He specifically urged that the players should not be shown pity but a natural acceptance that they play the sport as good as any normal player.


Alas the common cricket fan may not make it to the ground to watch a couple of overs not even to show their support for the cause. They have a ready pretext-all roads will lead to Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium (RGICS) where the IPL showdown between Sunrisers Hyderabad and Chennai Super Kings is slated for Saturday.


What is depressingly lamentable is the apathy shown by the authorities towards this form of cricket, which ought to be patronised first and foremost. It is an inexcusable blunder that the Sports Authority did not allot the Lal Bahadur Stadium (it had hosted the TRS plenary just the other day) to the blind cricketers even though the first day’s matches were slated to be held there. A more humane consideration remains a far-fetched dream for this form of the gentleman’s game, unlike in other countries where there is an avowed governmental backing.

By:Sridhar K Penna

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