You will still be talking about the World T20, to be hosted by Sri Lanka in September, when another World Cup for the shortest format arrives. This, though, will be more than a game as visually impaired cricketers from 10 countries, nine of them Test-playing nations, will come together to vie for their own T20 crown.
The event will be organised in Bangalore from December 1-10 by the Cricket Association for the Blind in India (CABI), the sports wing of Bangalore-based Samarthanam Trust that works for the betterment of the visually impaired, disabled and underprivileged.
“The tournament means a lot to the players. For them, it goes beyond just recreation or the exhibition of their skills. Competing at this level makes them more confident, raises their self-esteem and empowers them,” said managing trustee, GK Mahantesh.
The man knows best for he himself is visually imp-aired, and was the first skipper of Karnataka's blind cricket team about two decades back. “Playing the game changed my life. It allowed me to travel, meet new people and compete with and against them. All this helped me become what I am today. We see sport as an agent of change; it changes social perception and helps in building a more inclusive society, ” he said.
Notwithstanding the perceived benefits, organising such an event will still be tough, and the CABI is aware of it.
“It's indeed a huge challenge, the estimated budget is more than Rs 8 crore. We’ll need massive support from corporate houses and the government to pull this off. Hopefully, we will host a top notch WC,” said Mahantesh.