On Friday the Indian cricket team will take on Pakistan in the blind world cup at the Ajman cricket ground in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Both India and Pakistan have enjoyed success so far in this tournament. India has won its opening match against Sri Lanka, and Pakistan on the other hand has notched two victories against Nepal and Bangladesh. The Indian team though might go into the game with more confidence, after it was successful in lifting the the Cricket Blind T-20 World Cup in February, 2017 by defeating Pakistan by 9 wickets.
Plus even before the first ball has been bowled, this match has generated a bit of attention, after the Indian team refused to travel to Pakistan which is co-hosting the tournament. This was brought about after the Indian government didn’t give a clearance for the team to travel to Pakistan, which has upset Pakistan’s blind cricket council. As a result of this the venue was changed to the UAE.
So building up to today’s game, here are some unknown facts about blind cricket:
1. The sport was invented in 1922 by two blind factory workers in Melbourne when they started playing a game using a tin can containing rocks. The game soon became popular and the Victorian Blind Cricketers’ Association was formed. Currently the sport is regulated by the World Blind Cricket Council whose current President is Syed Sultan Shah of Pakistan.
2. Even though the name suggests otherwise, all 11 players on the field are not blind. There are actually three categories under which the players fall. B1, B2, B3.
- B1: This category consists of players who are totally blind. The starting 11 needs to contain at-least four such players.
- B2: This category consists of players who are partially blind that is they have an ability to recognise the shape of the hand up to a visual acuity of 2/60 or visual field of less than five degrees in the better eye after correction. The starting 11 need to contain at-least four such players.
- B3: This category consists of players who are partially sighted. The starting 11 can consist at-most four such players they are defined as having a visual acuity above 2/60 up to visual acuity of 6/60 or a visual field of less than 20 degrees in better eye after correction.
3. These different categories of players can be recognised in the following manner:
- B1 player wears a white wrist band on the right wrist.
- B2 player wears a red wrist band on the right wrist.
- B3 player wears a blue wrist band on the right wrist.
4. All the runs which are scored by B1 players off the bat are automatically doubled and a one bounce catch by a B1 player is allowed.
5. The B1 player by default has a runner, the B2 player has an option of keeping a runner.
6. 40% of the overs must be bowled by a B1 bowler. The bowling has to be underarm failing which a no ball will be called which also results in a free hit.
7. The ball used is different. The white ball made up of hard plastic and contains metal pieces which cause a clanging noise when rolled.