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Press Release |  28 Jan 2017 15:24 |  By RnMTeam

Blind Anthem for T20 World Cup released

MUMBAI: The Stage is set for T20 World Cup Cricket for the Blind organised by Cricket Association for Blind in India, the cricketing arm of Samarthanam Trust for the Disabled. The inauguration ceremony will be held on 29 January 2017 at KD Jadhav Indoor Stadium, Indira Gandhi complex at 11am. The matches will kick start on 30 January 2017 with opening match between India and Bangladesh. The finals will be held at Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru. Ten teams including India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, South Africa, Sri Lanka, West Indies, Australia, England, New Zealand and Nepal will fight it out for the prestigious championship. The matches will be played at New Delhi, Faridabad, Mumbai, Ahmadabad, Indore, Pune, Kochi, Vijayawada, Hyderabad, Anantapur, Bhubaneswar and Bengaluru. 16 Matches will be played in New Delhi from 30 January to 3 February 2017 out of the total 48 matches.

The inauguration will see a glittering ceremony presided by Hon. Minister of Chemicals and Fertilizers and Parliamentary Affairs Shri Ananth Kumar. Hon. Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment Shri Thaawar Chand Gehlot will unveil the trophy and Hon. Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Shri Vijay Goel will declare the event open. Guest of Honour will include Shri Syed Sultan Shah, President World Blind Cricket (WBC), Shri Raymond Moxly, Secretary General WBC, Shri Ajai Kumar Mittal, Secretary General World Blind Union, Shri Rajesh Tomar, Vice President Asian Paralympic Committee.

Rahul Dravid is the official Brand Ambassador for the tournament while Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, K L Rahul, Umesh Yadav, Gautam Gambhir have also come forward to support and promote Blind Cricket. Former India Player DilipVengsarkar and many other cricketers have also come forward to support the event.

Speaking on the occasion CABI President Mahantesh GK said, “We are all set and geared up to host the coveted T20 World Cup Cricket for the Blind tournament in India. I welcome all the teams to India and wish them all the best. We are thankful to all the sponsors, companies, institutions and individuals who have supported us. We are grateful to Rahul Dravid who is the official Brand Ambassador for the event.”

Mahantesh GK added that Indian Team are the defending champions and have won all major tournaments making our country proud. We are also extremely happy and proud of our former Captain Shekhar Naik who has been conferred Padma Shri award and who has fought all odds to make it big at International stage. His achievements are inspiring to all of us.

Need of the hour is the recognition at par with all the other sports federations. The World Cup Blind Cricket is extremely competitive and is a treat to watch for all. We hope the Government will continue to support us and increase the financial assistance and recognition. This is important as recognition at par will other federations will help especially abled youngsters to look at cricket as a career.

“I appeal all corporate houses, industries and organisations to come forward and support this cause by helping us meet our sponsorship needs. Even a common man can support us by buying the unique cricket ball used in cricket for the blind from our official websitehttps://www.blindcricke t.in/. There is also a provision for crowd contribution in the website wherein people can contribute any amount,” Mahantesh G K added.

Indian Team Coach Patrick Rajkumar said, “We are confident that we will be able to defend our title. With no major injuries and all the players physically fit we are all set to take on the challenge. We had fruitful and effective practice sessions at Indore from 4th January to 18th January 2017 and also at New Delhi from 20th January.England, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Australia pose a tough challenge and debutants New Zealand may have some surprise in store.”

Captain I Ajay Kumar Reddy said that they have the best all round team. “We have practiced on all aspects of the game including practicing on swinging, flat andbouncy wickets. However we are not underestimating any team. We will take each day at it comes and play to our fullest ability,” he added.

The tournament is supported by Government of Karnataka, Government of Telangana, Sports Authority of India, Sports Ministry, IndusInd Bank, SBI, Star Sports, ONGC, Blue Voda, Bank of Baroda, Enerzal,CBM, SG Pvt Ltd, Coca Cola, PVR, ICCR, Indian Association of Para Sports Organisations, CricHQ, SBJ, Oxxy, NASSCOM Foundation, Study by Janak, Radio Udaan. We are thankful for their support and appreciate the encouragement received for the tournament.