Blind Religion

          The Indian blind cricket team successfully defended its Twenty-20 World Cup title in Bengaluru on the 12th of February, defeating arch-rivals Pakistan in the final of the second successive edition.

          The victory was also a sweet revenge for the Indians, who had lost to Pakistan in the league stage of the current edition. While this was a proud moment, it got many of us thinking about how different the game would be for the visually challenged. So here’s a peek into it –

          Firstly, the team is a mix of fully blind, partially blind and partially sighted players.

          The ball, which is always bowled underarm, is filled with some ball bearings so that it can be heard by the fully blind batsmen and fielders.

          The bowler shouts “Ready?” before releasing the ball to which the batsman must respond by saying “Yes”. Then the bowler shouts “Play” before releasing the ball.  The umpire declares a ball no ball if the timing of these calls by the bowler is inappropriate (too early or too late).

          Runs scored by the fully blind are doubled before adding to the score board. They can take a catch on one bounce and it is out.

          Leaving the technicalities aside, we must agree that blind cricket is a true manifestation of excellent human spirit and an instinct to perform, regardless of the disabilities. Their passion and dedication towards the sport is intriguing as well as inspiring, to say the least.

-Sukriti Tiwari

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