Sport for the blind is a rightful pursuit and it forms a platform for physical and social development. Individuals with visual impairment are passionate about cricket and overcome great odds to play the game.
Cricket for the Blind was first introduced by Australia in 1920s and made its first appearance in India in 1980.
The primitive form of Cricket for the Blind in India was played by replacing the ball with an empty tin and a stick for a bat. The replacement was to enable the visually impaired hear and identify the location of ball and hit accordingly.
Players were dependant on audio cues to execute the game. Eventually, audio ball replaced the empty tin and bats for sticks. The audio ball, designed by National Institute for the Visually Handicapped (NIVH), Dehradun, is currently accepted as an international standard ball. Verbal signals are used by players and umpires such as shouting the word ‘play’ while delivering the ball. The delivery is required to pitch at least twice when bowled to the batsman. Totally blind fielders are allowed to catch the ball on the bounce.
The game started garnering support in due course and the first National Tournament took place in 1990. World Blind Cricket Limited (WBC), established in 1996, governs Cricket for the Blind with an objective of promoting and administering the game of Cricket for the Blind globally. Following was the first World Cup for the blind organized in 1998.
After the formation of Cricket Association for Blind in India (CABI) in 2010, it has been organizing cricket for the blind tours and tournaments in India and abroad and relentlessly working on blind cricket awareness. The games organized and conducted by CABI have been increasing with each passing season with increasing ardor towards improving on them. Today, CABI is the apex body governing Cricket for the Blind in India and wishes to effort further with continuous support from one and all.