Exciting cricket at 1st triangular blind cricket series for girls
It's been an exciting first T-20 triangular series of blind girls cricket at Dehradun with teams from Odisha, Delhi and Uttarakhand putting up a spirited performance.
The matches are being played at the grounds of the Welham's Boys School and players from the teams have gone all out to put up their best show. With the national meet less than two months away, the blind girls' teams want to make sure they leave no stone unturned.
The series kicked off with a match between Odisha and Uttarakhand. Odisha clearly had the edge, which was not surprising given that Uttarakhand was playing for the first time.
The Odisha team won easily and Jhilli was declared Player of the Match.
The blind girls are showing a lot of initiative and they want to make it to the national team. The aim of this series is to give them exposure ahead of the national meet. They are getting to travel out of their cities to other venues, so this has been a terrific experience on the whole - Shailendra Yadav, General Secretary, Cricket Association for Blind, Delhi
Naresh Nayal, Coach, Uttarakhand Cricket Team hopes the experience will encourage more blind girls to come forward and play cricket. As sports coach at the National Institute for the Visually Handicapped in Dehradun, Nayal has played an active role in promoting blind cricket in the state.
"The girls who are taking part come from many districts across Uttarakhand. I have been telling them about the game and starting off by encouraging them to try it out in the games period. I noticed that they were very keen to pick it up and started showing initiative themselves".
Nayal says it took a lot of convincing before the parents of the players would let them travel to Dehradun. "Parents are very nervous, and this is the case with blind boys as well. They worry that something will go wrong, and I have to spend a fair amount of time in addressing their concerns. But there is a lot of attention being given to blind cricket on social media, so that helps to motivate them".
Among the hopefuls making her mark for the first time is Jaydei Kainpura from Uttarakhand. This 17-year-old started playing about two years ago.
"My aim is to play for India, and I think my strength lies in batting, although I bowl well. I am very eager to play for India and I am working towards that. My aim is to improve my game as well as encourage more girls to sign up".
With ambassadors like these, blind girls cricket has a bright future in India.