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Cricket, the game that unties people around the globe, is not just a game; it’s an emotion. The beauty of this game is that it is not partial, which means it poses equal gatherings for all the humans in the world. Humans with disabilities can also get into cricket to test their hands. Blind cricket is the biggest example of blind people playing the game with passion and dedication.
Although the game is pretty different from the usual game of cricket, you would not find any difference in seeing it because players use the same techniques and fundamentals of the game specially in batting. The game for blind people has deep roots in the world, and people also love this game. So, let’s delve into this cherished game and understand it from scratch.
What is Blind Cricket?
Blind cricket, also known as visually impaired cricket is a version of the most beloved game of cricket that is specially made for people with visual disabilities or who can’t see. It is a thrilling game that never lets the visual disabilities of players affect their passion for game play. Brilliant sensing power, hearing power, and concentration are always grouped together in this game.
Historical Origin and Evolution of Blind Cricket
The exciting game originated in Melbourne in 1922 by two factory workers who were visually disabled. Those two workers improvised the sport using a can of tin containing rocks in it. An association called the Victorian Blind Cricket Association was formed in the same year to promote blind cricket. Later in 1928, the first playing ground for them was constructed in its original place, Melbourne.
In 2000, blind cricket stepped into the ultimate form of cricket, test cricket. Pakistan and South Africa were the first two nations involved in the test format of the game. South Africa emerged victorious in the first ever test match in blind cricket history.
The WBCC (World Blind Cricket Council) was introduced in September 1996 with the prime goal of promoting the game around the world. The great moment came in 1998 for blind cricket when the first world cup for the game was placed in New Delhi, named the Kanishka World Cup Cricket for the Blind.
South Africa found glory in winning the inaugural World Cup in 1998, thrashing Pakistan. Now Australia, Bangladesh, England, India, New Zealand, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, the West Indies, and Nepal are the 10 full members of the team.
Rules of Blind Cricket
- Four partially sighted players, three partially blind players, and four totally blind players must be in the team.
- The bowler must shout “play” while releasing the ball to the batter, who is blind completely.
- The ball bowled to a completely blind batter must bounce twice but not be rolling.
- Batsmen who are completely blind cannot be dismissed by being stumped; instead, they must be given out on getting LBW twice.
- Fielders who are completely blind are allowed to take a catch on the bounce as well.
Equipment for the Game
The bat is usually used as a regular game as per the rules; it is not a must to follow the rules in blind cricket.
The ball used in blind cricket is slightly bigger than the traditional cricket ball with a ball bearing inside it, which holds the player to recognize the ball.
In this game, the stumps are fixed and made of metal, so the players easily get the idea of dismissal of the batter. These stumps are a bit wider and taller than normal stumps.
How Blind Cricket is Played?
It is played with the same terminologies and fundamentals as the game; the team that makes the most runs emerges as the winner in every form of the game. The bowler bowls the underarm ball while shouting a call “play”, and the batter tries to hit the ball with the intention of making a run. The game is played in a rectangular space, whose boundaries are not more than 50 yards.
Blind Cricket Tournaments
Blind Cricket World Cup
This major event occurs every four years. Five editions have been played so far, with India dominating the inaugural ODI World Cup. The upcoming edition of the World Cup is scheduled for 2026.
Blind T20 World Cup
Introduced in 2012 for the first time, this shorter format quickly gained popularity. three season seasons have been held, with India winning in all the seasons. The next T20 World Cup is also expected to be held in 2026.
There are many regional tournaments, like the National T20 Cricket Tournament for the Blind, European Blind Cricket Championship and the Asia Cup. These leagues are crucial in attracting sponsorships, improving infrastructure, and creating a sustainable ecosystem for blind cricket.
Blind cricket has been spreading its roots all around the world. As time passes, many associations have been running to uplift the game worldwide. Men’s blind cricket has already come a long way, but for women, it still needs promotion. With specific events like the current “IndusInd Bank Women’s National T20 Cricket Tournament for the Blind” in India, women’s blind cricket is on the verge of considerable growth, despite being in its early stages.
To promote gender equality and highlight the amazing skills of female blind cricket players, there has to be a greater level of engagement and awareness.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
The ball used is larger and filled with ball bearings to make it audible.
The wickets are taller than in regular cricket.
The pitch is shorter than in regular cricket.
The rules of blind cricket, also known as visually impaired cricket are governed by the World Blind Cricket Council (WBCC).