KOCHI: Cricket Association for the Blind in Kerala (CABK) formed the state’s first visually-challenged women’s cricket squad, which will take on national-level teams from this month, on Saturday. Both the men’s and women’s team of CABK were present in Kochi as part of the jersey-unveiling ceremony.
“The women’s cricket team will be first in Kerala to compete in team sports events. Cricket Association for the Blind in India (CABI) has decided to form Indian women’s cricket team in 2020. As part of it, CABK formed the women’s team. It took around six months to identify talented players. Now the team trains at various grounds in Ernakulam,” said Rajneesh Henry, CABI vice-president and CABK general secretary.
The players, aged between 16 and 25 years, belong to B1 (completely visually-impaired), B2 (partially-blind) and B3 (partially-sighted) categories.
Tanuja C George is the captain of the team. Simi Thomas, a visually-impaired faculty from Maharaja’s College, is training the team. UST Global has come forward to support the team.
“The state will play against Karnataka in Kochi on November 30 and December 1. The team will take part in a T20 tournament to be held in New Delhi from December 16 to 19,” said CABK president Prasanth P V.
Meanwhile, CABK’s men’s team is all set to compete in the second edition of T20 Nagesh Trophy from November 21. The team will play its group-stage matches at St Paul’s College ground, Kalamassery. The rest of their matches will be played at Chennai on December 10 and 11.
As many as 24 states are taking part in this edition of Nagesh Trophy. The teams are divided into six groups.
Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh and Maharastra are the other teams that will face Kerala in the group stage. Muthoot Pappachan Group is the sponsor of the men’s team.
“Last year, Kerala reached the quarterfinals of Nagesh Trophy. Blind cricket has witnessed tremendous growth in the state. Currently, we have professional management that runs like other cricket boards,” said Rajneesh.
He also said an under-16 boy’s team is undergoing training and the team will vie for the U-16 south zone school meet in February.