How can blind people play cricket if they can’t see the ball? | Street Stories | Raisin George

I have to be honest that I have never watched a blind cricket match. We didn’t hear about blind cricket even before you asked us. That is very big, a question that you have asked me right now. If I am not able to see and I have to play cricket! Let me just close my eyes. I don’t think I am comfortable enough talking to you while I am closing my eyes right now. Walking and doing my daily chores itself a huge problem and playing blind cricket! I think the way blind cricket is played is – the ball with something that makes noise inside it. I am really bad at playing visual cricket so I can imagine how hard it would be for them to play the blind version of it. When we talk about cricket. We talk about the man of the match, captain, coach and everybody else who is associated with the cricket. Now think that a person loses their eyes. But they are still able to play cricket. Today we are talking about visually impaired cricket and how they play it. A vision is possible only if the light enters the eye and captured by the retina. And this image transferred to the brain enables us to see our day to day lives. By blindness, we refer to a permanent damage to the optic nerve and retina, which cannot be corrected through the surgery. Blind cricket is the version which is adapted to the partially sighted and blind persons enabling them to play a sport. This is only possible with the help of audible clues and verbal clues for them to be able to participate in this sport. Yoga for the blind cricketers lays stress on Pranayama and meditation, both concerned with the mind. The ability to deal with stress. And we believe that through yoga that they would be able to manage all stress situations while playing cricket. In visually impaired, cricket we have a separate ball which is specially made for the visually impaired cricketers. The ball is filled with ball bearings so that it is audible for the players. In visually impaired cricket we have 3 categories. B1 (Totally Blind), B2 (Partially Blind) and B3 (Partially Sighted). B1 players are visually impaired. They focus on the noise of the ball which is specially made for visually impaired cricketers. B2 players can see up to 2 meters, they are depended on half vision and audio clues. B3 players totally depended on the vision only. They can see the ball more 6-7 meters. This is how we play blind cricket. The partially blind person (he/she) can see a distance of 2-3 meters. What this means that he would be able to react to the ball or react to a certain situation in a much shorter duration of the time. So (he/she) lays a much greater emphasis on (his/her) audible cues, the surrounding around (him/her) and what exactly is happening on the field. But as compared to the person who is totally blind, no visual stimulus at all, in this person it is entirely dependent on audible clues and what exactly is happening in the surrounding around (him/her) is entirely dependent on that. Apart from that, we have the same rules like how normal cricket is played (MCC). Mostly everything is the same. But we have underarm bowling action, our boundary is 50 yards only. B1 is given more priority because for B1 only visually impaired cricket was started. They have to bowl a minimum 30% of the total over. During the match, if B2 and B3 went for opening then next batsman it should be B1. B1 can take a runner. B1 batsman will ask other players to clap so that he knows where other players are positioned. It is a huge challenge when you have absolutely no vision to engage into a sport without any visible clues. You are entirely dependent on totally focusing on the audible clues irrespective of what is happening in the environment, with the crowd cheering in the background and trying to focus exactly on the sound which comes from the ball who are trying to follow through to what is happening on the field of the sport. This challenge is only possible is by maintaining a high degree of focus and awareness of what is there in the environment around us. My name is Angrej Sharma, I am from Jammu and Kashmir. After losing my vision in the year 2011. And then when I saw Indian Blind Cricket Team won their world cup. I was very much inspired to be the part of Indian Blind Cricket Team. I am representing India from 2011 till last ODI world cup.

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