They’re more comfortable in a team shirt. Concentration and involvement are their keywords. They literally eat, drink and sleep crickets. It’s an Indian blind cricket team. By cancelling the Blind Cricket World Cup (ODI) of 2018 in Sharjah – the team’s second World Cup victory – they have made the whole country proud again.

The blind cricket team is happy that the World Cup victory is so close to Republican Day in India.
(
Amal KS/ HT
)

I can’t express how we felt when we defeated Pakistan and won the World Cup, said Ajay Kumar Reddi, captain of India’s blind cricket team, with emotion. The moment of victory is always special, especially when you’re playing for your country and we’ve won the cup as Republic Day approaches. Everyone twittered, from our Prime Minister, Narendra Maudie, to other popular personalities. Such moments take me back to my early days when, after having partially lost my sight, I was depressed and thought my world was over. Nothing is impossible if you work hard and persevere, Reddy said.

Reddy’s collaboration with Denkateshwara Rao put the Indian team in a strong position in the final game against Pakistan. When Rao came out, Reddy teamed up with Sunil Ramesh and together they scored 156 goals, Reddy scored 63 and Sunil 93.

Desh ke liye kuch karna hi hamare liye badi benefit lies (It means a lot to us to be able to do something for the country). I had tears in my eyes, I couldn’t find the words when we won the cup, said Rao, who made his international debut in 2011. He was a regular player on the team that won two T20 World Blind Cricket Championships in 2012 and 2017, the World Blind Cricket Championship (ODI) in 2014 and the Asian Cup in 2016.

The blind cricket team wants to be recognized for its efforts.

The blind cricket team wants to be recognized for its efforts.
(
Amal KS/ HT
)

Ramesh, 19, is very excited. After all, he made his international debut last year and it was his first world championship. I remember in the first class [at school] I went blind in my left eye, and then I went completely blind in my right eye. I went to the school for the blind and they motivated me to play cricket, my first love, adds Ramesh with a smile: Obstruction in your head. Rao adds that everyone has talent, must find his true calling and just follow his heart.

Thank you for all your love, but we also need a confession. At the end of the day we play for the country just like everyone else. It’s just that we have a vision problem, but he never interfered – the cricketer Deepak Malik.

Thank you for all your love, but we also need a confession, said cricketer Deepak Malik. At the end of the day we play for the country just like everyone else. It’s just that we have visual problems, but it’s never bothered us.

They don’t need your sympathy, said John David, head coach and head coach of the Indian Blind Cricket Team. Just give them a chance to show how well they play. They are incomparable in terms of condition, dedication and technique.

According to David, the selection process is similar to that of any other game – players who perform well at different clubs are then selected for region, state and zone, and ultimately make the national team. The first World Blind Cricket Championship (ODI) was held in New Delhi in 1998. The second took place in Chennai in 2002, followed by Islamabad in 2006, Cape Town, South Africa in 2014 and Sharjah, United Arab Emirates in 2018.

Interestingly, David agrees that they are already in the process of forming an Indian women’s cricket team to represent the country internationally. States like Odisha, Gujarat, Bengal, Jarkhand, Madhya Pradesh and Kerala already have their own teams.

Interaction with Shreya Mukherjee on Twitter/@Shreya_MJ