Bhubaneswar: The ongoing 21 days preparatory camp of Indian Blind Cricket Team at Cuttcak for the 4th ODI Blind Cricket World Cup scheduled to be held in South Africa from 25th November, is getting concluded on Thursday (20th Novemebr). The Indian Blind Cricket team which arrived at Cuttack on 1st November 2014 for the world cup training camp had several practice sessions at Ravenshaw Universiy Ground apart from fitness and yoga sessions at Barabati Stadium. The team comprised 17 players including Mr. Md. Jafar of Odisha and Coach Patrick Rajkumar along with two other supporting staffs. Shekar Naik of Karnataka has been selected as Captain.
On the concluding day the Indian Blind Cricket team will be practicing at Ravenshaw University Ground till lunch time and then head for New Delhi in the evening from where they will leave for Cape Town, South Africa, where the 4th ODI Blind Cricket World Cup is scheduled to be held from November 25th – December 9, 2014. In total 8 teams from countries including India, Australia, England, South Africa, Pakistan, West Indies, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
During the 21 days training, apart from practicing, the Indian Blind Cricket team members had the opportunity to meet with team India opener Sikhar Dhawan and team Director Ravi Shashtri during the ODI match at Barabati. They also had visited Puri, Konark and other places and enjoyed time at the sea beach. Odisha Sports and Youth Affairs Minister Mr. Sudam Marandi interacted with to the blind cricket team and said he would try to support for the coaching camp expenses and Zafar’s (the player from Odisha) travel and equipment costs.
It may be noted here that 56 players from various zones were short listed from the selection trials held at Tirupati from 17th to 20th of July. Out of them 28 players were shortlisted for final selection trials which were held at Bangalore from 22nd to 24th of September based on their performance. 17 best performing players based on performance got selected to participate in the 4th ODI World Cup in Cape Town South Africa from 25th November to 9th December 2014 and were practicing at the World Cup training camp at Cuttack.
Cricket Association for the Blind in India (CABI) a sports initiative of Samarthanam Trust for the Disabled has been promoting Cricket for the Blind in the country over the years since its inception. Samarthanam’s efforts were formalized by establishing the Cricket Association for the Blind in India (CABI) in February 2011. 2012 December saw its first ever mega event being organized in the form of first ever T20 World Cup for the Blind in Bengaluru India which was a huge success. Nine countries had participated in the event and India lifted the World Cup beating Pakistan in the finals. Since then teams of Blind cricketers from 21 states in India have registered themselves as state Cricket associations and are affiliated with CABI. Since October 2013 CABI has been organizing zonal cricket tournaments. 2 teams from each zone winners and runners up from each zone have participated in the 19th National Cricket Tournament held in Bengaluru from 7th to 11th December 2013.