Pakistan Blind Cricketers Win World Cup

Posted on December 17, 2006
Filed Under >Deeda-e-Beena, Society, Sports
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Guest Post by Deeda-i-Beena

Yes, that is correct!

They are Blind. They are Team Pakistan. They too are cricketers. They have made the Finals in three previous showings. Now they have won the World Cup second time running.

The last couple of weeks, venues in Islamabad and Rawalpindi have seen cricket matches played by the Blind for the World Cup. Teams from seven countries participated in this tournament. They were: Australia, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and West Indies. (See another video news clip here).

This World Cup tournament received scant media coverage (although on winning the World Cup did get them a picture on the front page of Dawn) and even less public knowledge or participation. The opening games were played on the League-basis, followed by semi-finals and the final was played on Saturday December 16th between India and Pakistan.

The Pakistan team lifted the World Cup after beating India by six wickets.

I confess to not knowing much about this genre of cricket. I understand the ball rattles, it is bowled under-hand and the batsmen sweep it across the playground. Otherwise, the scene is unmistakably of a cricket ground and the players every bit look and act like cricketers.

Here are some interesting facts picked from The News which provided good coverage, probably because the Jang Group and Geo TV were among the major sponsors of the event:

  • “Pakistani (Blind) fielders exhibited outstanding work as six Indian batsmen were run out.â€Â? Any such feat or expectation from the sighted team?
  • Pakistan’s entire winning team received Rs. 200,000 as WIN BONUS. All the best players (of the tournament?) in their categories were awarded $200 each. What modest players and team winning the World Cup and settling for a fraction of the sighted team’s largesse.
  • Scores of 360, over 200 etc. were made in several matches.
  • Pakistan set FIVE World Records during a 10 wicket victory against New Zealand team.

We all know what fortunes are made when just one sighted player breaks World Records. Here a blind team set 5 new records and nothing moved in their favour. Is it discrimination against the visually challenged, or what??? One wonders, also, what incentives are provided to our women cricketers?

Deeda-i-Beena is a former graduate teacher, has international experience and background in social, environmental and human developement issues.

14 Comments on “Pakistan Blind Cricketers Win World Cup”

  1. Mantra says:
    December 17th, 2006 12:09 pm

    Amazing! Congratulations to them and Pakistan. :)

  2. Asma says:
    December 17th, 2006 2:05 pm

    That was superb …congrats to them all … and they made some great records tooo …. Bravo … we are proud of you all :)

  3. Asma says:
    December 17th, 2006 2:14 pm

    and yah I missed out this prize money thing … south africa’s team Or I dnt remember which team exactly from africa culdnt make it to this world cup bcoz of not enough funds … sorry to bring up those 50 LAC rs … but couldn’t they’ve been served better here with some infusion of real happiness to these special ppl … who are really doing wonders … what we with all the senses intact cant do … !

  4. December 17th, 2006 2:37 pm

    Thats wonderful maschallah. I think Pakistanis not see the cricket but feel it and cricket is in their blood so victory was for them :)

  5. drpak says:
    December 17th, 2006 2:43 pm

    Some say the players arn’t blind at all, they can see just fine. I laughed hard when I heard that. It sounded like a very Pakistani thing load the ‘blind’ cricket team with players with 20/20 vision.

  6. Eidee Man says:
    December 17th, 2006 8:49 pm

    [quote comment="17461"]Some say the players arn’t blind at all, they can see just fine. I laughed hard when I heard that. It sounded like a very Pakistani thing load the ‘blind’ cricket team with players with 20/20 vision.[/quote]

    That’s a very insensitive way of looking at it…especially for someone who proudly makes his profession part of his alias. The point is that these players have IMPAIRED vision, and, as I understand it, the ICC has very strict rules governing who can participate…in fact, they even have different scoring based on the level of handicap.

    The least thing we so-called ‘educated’ people can do is encourage stories such as these and help remove the terrible and despicably insensitive stigmas associated with people having physical and mental disabilities in our country.

  7. Samdani says:
    December 17th, 2006 9:43 pm

    This also raises the larger issue of how society treats the blind and other challenged populations. The importance of victories like this is that they educate peopel about what can be done desite the challenges.

  8. Asma says:
    December 17th, 2006 11:38 pm

    well, another thing on friday Anwar ali of blind cricket team made an asian record too … he paraglided from margalla hills all by himself … a picture can be found here

  9. December 17th, 2006 11:58 pm

    Indeed these guys are mashallah very talented. Thosse who says like that are blind themselves.

    IMHO, the term “Blind” itself is very offensive for these talented players. They can perform well in their field. The only problem with them is that they can’t see. I would like that some english expert suggest a decent term for them like we use the term “SPECIAL” for disable people.

  10. Umar Shah says:
    December 18th, 2006 1:33 am

    These gentlemen need more patronage. When regular cricket team players can get millions of rupees on top of contracts & jobs they already have, it’s only fair that these sportsmen also get respectable rewards. Rs $200k for the team and $200 (Rs 12,000)for individual members is nothing.

    Congratulations to all Pakistanis on this happy occasion!

  11. MK says:
    December 18th, 2006 3:02 am

    Congrats to the team. MashaAllah!

  12. Pakpics says:
    December 18th, 2006 4:17 am

    Congrats to them & we are proud of them coz they have done that twice which our normal team have not done for many years now. also i am not happy for the reward of 200000 rs as wining bonus. If Muhammed yousuf breaks a record & gets millions of rupees (I am not against yousuf) so why they cant get a huge sum as reward for wining World Cup?

  13. ahmed says:
    December 18th, 2006 8:22 am

    Thank you Deeda i- Beena for this extraordinary post and for enabling those who are blind among us see the light. The team deserves full praise and also our material and moral support.Theirs is a triumph not only to be applauded but also celebrated by each one of us.

    As has been so truly said: “There, but for the grace of God, go I”. The cry of the blind alm-seekers still wrings my heart— aankhoon waalo aankhaain bari neymat hain.

    Can we thank Allah enough for all his mercies?

  14. February 15th, 2007 12:16 pm

    [...] The site is exactly correct in pointing out that we, as a society, are caught in “prejudiced molds” of thinking about the disabled. We at ATP also stand guilty of not having raised these issues as we should have (we did do one post on the Pakistan Blind Cricketers Team winning the Blind World Cup; but that is not at all sufficient). [...]

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