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You are here >>About Blind Cricket
Cricket for Development:
Cricket is a passion in India. The blind and visually impaired people too have been extremely passionate about the game. Cricket for the blind is a direct result of blind people’s love for this game. As a matter of fact, their passion for the game was one of the factors that led to the widespread participation and organisation of blind cricket in the country. They also play the game well, with complete devotion and sportsmanship. It not only helps them in their all round development, but is also a tool to remind the society of their skills and abilities.
History of Blind Cricket:
Blind people were initiated to the game of cricket primarily through radio commentaries. They soon found a way of playing the game by replacing the ball with an empty tin and using a stick as a bat. Using an empty tin in place of ball was necessary because of the need for audio clues to play the game. A usual cricket ball wouldn’t make the amount of noise necessary for a visually impaired person to make out the whereabouts of the ball and play the game. This was the beginning of the audio game of cricket in its most primitive form.
Over the years, the empty tin was replaced by audio balls, and bats were used in place of sticks. National Institute for the Visually Handicapped (NIVH), Dehradun, developed the audio ball that is now accepted as the international standard. This ball is made of hard plastic with ball bearings inside.
The rules of play are akin to regular cricket except for minor modifications. The rules are defined by World Blind Cricket Council, which oversees the sport in the test-playing nations in the world.
The game is played with a white ball made of hard plastic and filled with small ball bearings that rattle when the ball is in motion. The wickets are made of metal and screwed together ensuring alignment and a distinct sound when contact with the ball is made. The field boundaries are set at a distance of 45-55 yards from the pitch.
A team comprises eleven players with a maximum of four partially sighted players, three partially blind players, and a minimum of four totally blind players. Bowling is underarm and it is mandatory for the ball to bounce once before the middle of the pitch. The bowler at the time of delivery feels the wicket at his end to get the direction of the pitch and then gives the batsman an audio signal. In response, the batsman returns an audio signal and the ball is then delivered.
Apart from giving them a chance to play cricket, blind cricket benefits the visually impaired in many other ways. The players are exposed to important aspects of life, which they are otherwise denied merely due to their disability—discipline, teamwork, physical fitness, strategic planning and execution, and the spirit of competition. The game with its passionate following in the country provides for a very effective medium of projecting their ability, talent and potential of the blind. But most importantly, perhaps for the first time in their life, the focus is on their skills and not on their disability. And all this does wonders to their self confidence.
But it does not just end with cricket. These players then apply the skills they have learnt and their new-found confidence to other aspects of their life. And eventually, go on to lead a productive and fulfilling life, which is the ultimate aim of Samarthanam Trust.
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