Rahul Dravid has agreed to be the brand ambassador for the upcoming Twenty20 Blind World Cup. This is the second tournament of its kind, and will take place next year in India.
The Cricket Association for the Blind in India (CABI) announced that the upcoming Twenty20 Blind World Cup is set to take place from 31st January 2017 until 12th February 2017. Games will be played in New Delhi, Indore, Faridabad, Kochi, Mumbai, Bhubaneswar, Bangalore, and in Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat.
In 2012, India won the first edition of the Twenty20 Blind World Cup in Bangalore. India was also the winning team in Cape Town when the 40-over World Cup was played in 2014.
At this time, blind cricket is not affiliated to the Board of Control of Cricket in India, however, the president of the Cricket Association for the Blind in India, Mahantesh GK, is hopeful that the board may give the association a grant for the upcoming tournament. CABI has some support from local cricket associations, and is likely to receive additional support from the Ministry of Sports.
Rahul noted that he is honoured to have been chosen to be the brand ambassador for the event. He is hoping that his association with the Blind Twenty20 World Cup will add to its success.
“I have tried to play cricket blindfolded with this ball,” said Rahul, “and believe me, it is really, really difficult. First of all, to conquer that fear, with an object coming towards you, is a very difficult thing to do. I honestly could not do it, and had to back away after a while. The ball comes at you quite fast.”
For those who would like to help promote blind cricket, Rahul suggests that the best way to do so is to support the sport by coming to watch the matches.
The Ball Used in Blind Cricket
There are a few differences between cricket for sighted people and blind cricket. In blind cricket, the ball is larger so that those who are partially sighted can see it more easily. Those who are totally blind can hear the ball coming because it is filled with ball bearings.