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Turned away by BCCI, blind cricket approaches Dravid

Refused support by the BCCI, the cash-strapped Association for Cricket for the Blind in India (ACBI) approaches Rahul Dravid to help raise funds for sustaining itself.

cricket Updated: Aug 17, 2007 17:55 IST

Refused support by the BCCI, the cash-strapped Association for Cricket for the Blind in India (ACBI) has approached Rahul Dravid to help raise funds for sustaining itself.

"The BCCI says that blind cricket is not cricket. When Jagmohan Dalmiya was the chairman, he at least used to take our phone calls but the present setup does not even respond to our letters," ACBI Chairman George Abraham said on Friday.

"It has been impossible to get through to Sharad Pawar, who once sent us a letter saying that 'we will get back to you' but never got back. My question is if England and Pakistan boards can support their respective blind associations, why can't the BCCI."

"Our expenses are not more than Rs 18 to 20 lakh per year. So we just need half a per cent of the millions they earn. This kind of indifference from the richest cricket board in the world hurts," he added.

Abraham said the BCCI's apathy has forced the ACBI to look for support from corporate world and members of the Indian team.

"VVS Laxman has been a vocal supporter of blind cricket and has even attended some of the matches, which has helped. I have been speaking to Dravid as well and I think he is keen to help as well," he said.

"I met him (Dravid) when we took our team to Bangladesh for a series and he said that he was open to supporting us. The only problem is time. These players have such busy schedules now that they are left with no time for such activities after all the cricket," Abraham added.

He also lashed out at the Sports Ministry for not supporting blind cricket.

"When Sunil Dutt was Sports Minister we had come very close to getting some support but unfortunately he died soon after and since then it has been an uphill task to even get through somebody at the ministry," Abraham said.

The ACBI chief said blind cricket was also pinning its hopes on the ICC, which might give recognition to their world governing body.

"The ICC acknowledges that the World Blind Cricket Council is the body which governs blind cricket. We are negotiating and in some time the WBCC might just get the recognition on paper as well," he said.

The 13-member Indian blind team, which reached the finals of last year's World Cup in Pakistan, will leave for a five-ODI tour of England on Saturday.

This is their first tour outside the sub-continent.