Through the week, Ganesh Kale, 26, works nine hours a day in the public maintenance department of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation. But on Sundays, Kale, who is partially vision-impaired, gears up for cricket practice to ensure that his skills with the bat get him into the national team for the first T20 cricket world cup for the blind.
The Cricket Association for the Blind in India (CABI), formed by the Samarthanam Trust, a not-for-profit based in Bangalore, received hosting rights from the World Blind Cricket Council in May to organise the world cup tournament in Bangalore in December. “After the success of the Indian Premier League (IPL), several vision-impaired players wanted to be part of the T20 frenzy. We decided to have a T20 world cup for them this year,” said GK Mahantesh, general secretary, CABI.
The selections for the national team for the world cup will begin in September and go on till October through three national coaching camps. “I am trying to make the most of the time I have to prepare for the selections,” said Kale.
Raju Jadhav, 21, who is pursuing a computer course, is another partially vision-impaired aspirant who wants to be noticed for his bowling skills. “I have always dreamt of representing my country,” he said.
“Hopefully, visually challenged cricketers will get more attention from the government after the world cup,” said Dadabhau Kute, who is vision-impaired and has played national-level cricket for 20 years. “It is sad that sighted cricketers get support and recognition, while we are left to fund all our expenses.”