The Cricket Association for the Blind in India (CABI) made the announcement earlier this week at a press conference that India’s first-ever women’s blind cricket team will compete in a bilateral series against Nepal from April 25 to 30 2023. This will be the first time a team of its kind has been fielded by India.
Pokhara and Kathmandu will serve as the venues for all five Twenty20 matches. This is a significant step forward in the work that CABI and Samarthanam Trust for the Disabled have been doing to improve the standing of female players in the sport. The initial members of the team were chosen at the National Championships that were conducted earlier in the year. The remaining members of the team were chosen at a national camp that was held in Bhopal. Sushma Patel, who competes in the B3 Category, will serve as the captain of the squad.
The Indian Women’s Blind Cricket Team has appointed Harmanpreet Kaur, the current captain of the Indian Women’s Team, as its official Brand Ambassador. “Being a part of this team has brought me nothing but joy and pride. They serve as a source of motivation for a large number of young women who aspire to compete at the highest level of their sport despite having physical limitations. Harmanpreet Kaur, who joined the press conference digitally but was present in spirit, stated, “I get more energy when I see these girls and it helps me encourage them to achieve for the country.”
The first two Twenty20 matches between India and Nepal will take place at the Pokhara Cricket Ground in Kaski, and the following three matches will take place at the Mulapani Cricket Ground in Kathmandu. The series will consist of a total of five matches. Dr. G.K. Mahantesh, President of CABI, made the following statement in reference to the initiatives that have been taken to advance the women’s game: “This is the result of our continuous efforts to support and bring our girls to the forefront of the game.” I have no doubt that our team will benefit tremendously from this journey, and we certainly intend to provide them many more opportunities like this in the years to come. This is just the first step towards making the game accessible for more women and encouraging them to take up the sport. Our team will be the trendsetters for a significant change for women’s Blind Cricket in India, and we are excited to see what the future holds for the sport. I’d want to wish our ladies the best of luck throughout the series.”
On April 25th, at the Pokhara Cricket Ground, there will be an opening ceremony for the Women’s Bilateral Twenty20 Cricket Series for the Blind 2023, which will be immediately followed by the first game of the tournament.
The following players make up the India Women’s Blind Cricket Team:
B1 Category: Killaka Sandhya (Andhra Pradesh), U. Varsha (Karnataka), Padmini Tudu (Odisha), Simu Das (Rajasthan), Priya (Madhya Pradesh),Valasanaini Ravanni (Andhra Pradesh)
B2 Category: Gangavva Neelappa Harijan (Vice Captain, Karnataka), Sandra Davis (Kerala), Basanti Hansda (Odisha), Pritiben Desai (Gujarat), Prity Prasad (Delhi)
B3 Category: Sushma Patel (Captain, Madhya Pradesh), Phula Saren(Odisha), Ganga Kadam (Maharashtra), Deepika TC (Karnataka), Jhili Birua (Odisha), M. Satyavathi (Andhra Pradesh)