India’s World Cup winning cricket team finally got a piece of what they have deserved over the years as Board of Cricket Control in India (BCCI) have decided to donate Rs 1 crore to Cricket Association for the Blind in India. This is a big step from BCCI to give recognition to the blind cricketers in India. They recently got the better of Pakistan side in Blind T20 World Cup 2017 to win the trophy for the second time in a row.
There have been stories of struggle moving around the internet after they achieved the feat twice. In the initial stages of the tournament there was no live telecast of the game. It was only in the final of the World Cup that DD Sports telecasted the final of Blind T20 World Cup 2016 where India avenged their defeat in league matches against arch-rival Pakistan.
This decision is the result of the meeting of a committee appointed by the Supreme Court in the last week of February. The committee included four members— Auditor General of India, Vinod Rai, cricket historian Ramachandra Guha, Vikram Limaye, Managing Director of Infrastructure Development Finance Company and former Indian Women’s team skipper Dian Edulji.
The blind cricket players were going through hardships as there was a minimal amount of money involved. They got recognition from Prime Minister Narendra Modi as he met them and posted photos of him with the players on his Twitter handle.
The blind cricket team’s coach, Patrick Rajkumar was elated from this gesture from BCCI as he said, “It’s a fabulous gesture. It’s not the money that matters, but the recognition. I hope BCCI ensures the money is shared amongst the players, support staff and the CABI. It’s a great moment for us. Getting this announcement and commitment from BCCI means a lot. My heartfelt thanks to the new team to have taken this decision. I’d written to BCCI officials persistently requesting financial assistance and recognition. We organised the T20 World Cup in a grand manner, which forced us to spend a lot of money and take loans. The blind community is happy about this move
The captain of the team who played a major part in making the team reigning champions despite shortage of resources was happy with the move, he said, “I’m happy . This is a good first step that the BCCI has taken and is thinking about blind cricket.Thank you so much BCCI. Now, we can play continuously , without worrying about money . We’ve been waiting for this sort of recognition for the past several years.Finally a step has been taken by the BCCI to develop blind cricket in India.”
Also, Cricket Association for Blind (CABI) chief GK Mantesh expressed his emotions, he said, “It’s a great moment for us. Getting this announcement and commitment from BCCI means a lot. My heartfelt thanks to the new team to have taken this decision. I’d written to BCCI officials persistently requesting financial assistance and recognition. We organised the T20 World Cup in a grand manner, which forced us to spend a lot of money and take loans. The blind community is happy about this move.”
“This money will help us organise our cricket calendar. This gesture from the BCCI will now motivate the other corporates to come out and support us too. We were always asked by others about what BCCI was doing for us,” he added.