Visually impaired cricketers set for Pakistan Twenty20 series

- PRAJWAL OLI, Kathmandu

Jan 25, 2019-

National women’s blind cricket team on Saturday embark on a five-match Twenty20 series against the hosts Pakistan.

It will be the second international cricket series for the visually impaired Nepali women team which was formed in 2006. The Nepali women’s first international series was against England in 2014 which the hosts won 3-0 at the Pulchowk grounds in Lalitpur.

According to the schedule, the opening ceremony will be held on January 28 in Lahore with the first match set the very next day at the same venue. The second and third match will take place in Faisalabad on 31st January and February 1. The fourth and fifth games will be held in Islamabad on February 3 and 4.

Rijan Prazoo, the national team coach, said the players were under closed-camp training for 16 days before their Pakistan series. “Players are excited and looking forward to the contest,” said Prazoo. “It was the longest period that the visually impaired cricketers were kept under closed camp training,” added Prazoo. “Going by the training we hope to clean sweep the hosts at their own backyard,” said Prazoo. Unlike Nepali women’s cricket team which was formed more than a decade ago, the Pakistan’s team were formed only six month earlier. “They may fall short of experience but can drastically improve due to their good facilities. We are counting on our experience to beat them as we did against the England side on home soil.”

Pawan Ghimire, the founder president of Cricket Association of Blind (CAB), took heart from the fact that Nepal was the first to form a visually impaired cricket team. England, Pakistan, New Zealand, West Indies and South Africa followed the Nepal’s suit later. “We almost simultaneously started cricket for visually impaired women and men in 2006,” said Ghimire is himself visually impaired and will led the Nepali team to Pakistan.

A visually impaired cricket team consists of three categories of players: B1, B2 and B3. B1 falls under totally blind category, B2 under partially blind and B3 under partially sighted. Playing XI is formed by including at least four B1 players and B3 cricketers not more than four. Remaining quota will be completed by B2

players.

The 22-member Nepali team consists of 15 players and seven officials. Bhagwati Bhattarai is the skipper while Jyoti KC is team manager. The team will fly to Amritsar, India before entering the Pakistani territory through Wagha border. Pakistan Blind Cricket Council will responsible to look after the Nepali team once they enter Pakistan soil, informed Ghimire.

CAB said Switzerland Embassy in Nepal, Annal Jyoti Foundation, National Sports Council, Sahas Sports and Chirayau Hospital have poured in support for their travel to Pakistan.

Published: 25-01-2019 07:29

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