yellow periscope cricket match blind school amravati

Cricket match at The School for Blind – Love at first sight

As a family, philanthropy is not new for us. We grew up seeing my father and uncle take active part in supporting many causes and charities. So, it was no surprise that we decided to celebrate Mummy’s 70th birthday at Andh Vidyalaya (School for The Blind) at Amravati, my hometown in Maharashtra, India. But this time it was a different experience for me. Maybe age did bring in some maturity.


 

Lessons for life, in hindsight

We often talk about ‘giving’ to charity. Charitable work is referred to as ‘giving back’ to society. It implies a position of privilege. While you certainly donate money, time, essential supplies or any other form of support, the most important aspect of this experience is what one ‘receives’ or ‘gains’ through it. This side isn’t spoken or explained much.

According to Hindu philosophy, ‘Daan’ (charity work done with a selfless intention) accomplishes ‘Punya’ (this is a difficult word to translate – can be explained as good karma or an act that brings divine blessings). Although this is subconsciously ingrained in me, I never paused to think about it. My Punya and blessing arrived, the day of the cricket match, as awareness of how little I understood earlier. The spirit with which these blind students played the cricket match was a lesson I needed to absorb in my life. It demonstrated no matter how your body is, imperfections and all, it still is a miracle. I have a lot to be thankful for rather than think about its limitations.

 

To see clearly, close your eyes

-Ancient Zen proverb


Cricket for the differently-abled

As part of the birthday celebration, we sponsored a cricket match played by the two student teams of the blind school. Blind cricket is a version of the original game adapted for blind or partially sighted players. Hearing skills are the base of blind cricket. And these players had a greater sense of hearing and alertness in comparison to us.

 

yellow periscope cricket match at blind school- the fielders
Preparations and excitement before the game begins
Yellow Periscope Blind cricket match fielders orienting themselves
Blind players orient themselves to the field through touch and sound before the game begins. The team has a mix of partially blind and completely blind players.
yellow periscope cricket match at blind school. players orienting themselves
This game is entirely dependent on coordination and noise. Partially blind player helping a completely blind batsman orient himself before the match.
yellow periscope cricket match at blind school commentators prepare before the match
The commentary box was handled by a terrific team of two completely blind and one partially blind student.
yellow periscope cricket match at blind school. pre match team faceoff
Pre-match ceremony. Team 1 at the face off before the toss.
yellow periscope cricket match at blind school. pre match face off before toss
Pre-match ceremony. Team 2 at the face off before the toss. We can feel the excitement now.

 


How is Blind Cricket played?

Blind cricket is played with a modified ball. This ball, usually made of plastic, contains ball bearings inside it that makes its movement audible. This game is entirely dependent on coordination and noise. Players orient themselves to the field through touch and sound before the game begins. They continuously talk to each other during the game. The team has a mix of partially blind and completely blind players. The coach and umpire are normal sighted people.

 

yellow periscope cricket match at blind school. bowlers and fielders
Bowlers and fielders discuss strategy. They continuously talk to each other through the game.

 

yellow periscope cricket match at blind school. batsman on the crease
Batsman arrive at the crease…They look completely at ease with the space. One of them is partially sighted and eventually would become the highest scorer.

 

And the bowlers run up begins…Blind cricket is played with a modified ball. To make its movement audible, it contains ball bearings inside it.

 

yellow periscope cricket match at blind school. underam bowling for blind cricket
The Bowling is underarm. Another modification is verbal or sound cues used to guide players. If the bowler is completely blind, the team and the umpire use auditory cues.

 

yellow periscope cricket at blind school. blind students take over the commentary box
This team of commentators kept the game alive through their thrilling description. It was mind blowing to see them joke about delayed commenting because they could not see the game!

 

yellow periscope cricket match at blind school. batsman using the sweep shot
Blind cricket relies on use of the ‘sweep shot’ in order to provide maximum chance for the batsman to hit the ball. Another modification is verbal or sound cues used to guide players. This wicket keeper would clap to give an auditory cue for direction for a completely blind bowler.

 

yellow periscope cricket at blind school. Fielders are quick to go after the ball
There was a lot of excitement and shouting on the ground and we soon joined in as sixes and fours rained. It was soon apparent that they needed to play with multiple balls as searching for the balls that went beyond the school playground would delay the game.

 

yellow periscope cricket match at blind school. blind audience experiencing the match
Blind spectators (its ironical to call them so) rely on the commentary and sound to get the pulse of the game.

 

yellow periscope cricket match at blind school. girl student at blind school
Girl students did not care much about the match but they came out to check what the ruckus is all about…

 

yellow periscope cricket match at blind school. final moments of the match
Final moments of the game. It ended up becoming one-sided due to team 1 having Sagar who had played at a national blind cricket tournament.

 

yellow periscope cricket match at blind school. post match ceremony
Post match ceremony and prize distribution. End of game. An extraordinary birthday morning.

 

 


To Support Blind students

yellow periscope cricket match at blind school. Govind kasat is a grassroots social worker
The one phone call that makes it happen. Govind bhau as everyone addresses him, supports more than 25 charities, especially the unacknowledged, silent miracle workers who require support. He has a doctorate in physical education along with multiple degrees and a keen understating of grassroots realities.

Bharatiya Andh Janvikas Sanstha is an organization tirelessly working for blind students and requires support. You can reach them at:

Bharatiya Andh Janvikas Sanstha, Sunderlal chowk, Chaprasipura, Below Merchant bank, Amravati, Maharashtra, India. 444602

Chief Secretary: Shakir Nayak: +91 94204 21405


Govind ‘Bhau’ Kasat can be reached at: +91 721 2652848


This friendly cricket match was conducted at Dr. Narendra Bhiwapurkar Andh Vidyalaya, Amravati, Maharashtra, India.

 

The only thing worse than being blind is having sight and no vision

-Hellen Keller

 

 

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