The unsung T20 champs
Four players are completely blind, three partially sighted who can see up to three metres, and four who can see up to six metres. Welcome to the cricket team for the blind.
The rules are slightly different. The bowler shouts out before he begins the run-up to alert the batsman. The game is played underarm using a ball that makes sounds while moving, so that the batsman can judge and get his shot and the fielder can try and catch it. A completely blind player (also known as a B1 player) gets two runs for every run he scores.
Like with regular cricket, there is much of a frenzy for a spot in the Indian blind team too. Over 20,000 people play this form of cricket of which more than 3,000 of them play in state cricket teams. At least 20 states have an average of 10 teams each.
And like Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s men won the first world Twenty20 championship in 2007, the Indian blind cricket team is the current world champion of the T20 Blind Cricket World Cup!