In a heart-warming gesture of sportsmanship, the England Cricket Board (ECB) has come forward in support of the Cricket Association for the Blind in India (CABI) in managing their logistical challenges by "subsidising the accommodation cost" ahead of International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) World Games 2023 in Birmingham.
The Indian men's and women's blind cricket teams on Thursday reached World Games Village at Birmingham University for the IBSA World Games which gets underway on Friday.
Blind cricket has been included in the World Games for the first time and the Indian blind cricket teams (both men's and women's) are gearing up for a historic debut in the mega event.
However, the journey to Birmingham was not a bed of roses and was paved by challenges at every turn. The limited financial resources were another dent in the confidence of these aspiring athletes before the Board received the much-needed help.
CABI extends their gratefulness to the England Cricket Board:
The CABI officials have thanked the England Cricket Board (ECB) for the benevolent gesture shown by them, justifying the true essence of sportsmanship and camaraderie.
"We would like to extend thanks to England Cricket Board (ECB) for subsidising our accommodation cost and big thanks to IndusInd Bank for making our visit possible," the CABI officials told IANS ahead of the IBSA World Games in Birmingham.
"Rest of the blind cricket teams which are participating in the tournament are supported by their mainstream cricket boards. Hope someday BCCI would follow them," the officials added.
With just two days to go for their first match in IBSA World Games in Birmingham, the Indian blind cricket teams are ready to showcase their talent on the field.
The Indian women's Blind Cricket Team arrived for the tournament in Birmingham on Thursday, three days after the men's team landed.
CABI Chairman expecting big things from the Indian participants:
"It is a big moment for our girls to participate in the global sports competition in general and cricket in particular along with our boys. This prestigious event would certainly change their perspective and make them, become globally aligned to the happenings," CABI Chairman Mahantesh G Kivadasannavar said in a statement.
The Indian women's team will take on Australia to begin their campaign on August 20 while the men's team will face Pakistan on the same day.