Legendary Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar has requested the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to consider recognition of Cricket Association for the Blind in India (CABI) and bring its visually-impaired players under the BCCI’s pension scheme.
The master blaster’s comments came just weeks after the Indian team defeated their arch-rivals Pakistan by two wickets to lift their second Blind Cricket World Cup title in Sharjah.
In a letter to the Committee of Administrator’s (CoA) chairman Vinod Rai, Tendulkar wrote, “As we celebrate the fourth consecutive victory of the Indian team in the Blind World Cup, I urge you to consider recognition of Cricket Association for the Blind in India by the BCCI.”
Insisting that the recognition would truly be an acknowledgement of their passion for the sport, Tendulkar further urged the BCCI to bring the blind cricketers under the BCCI pension scheme for their long-term financial security.
“However, I believe that it is time that a long-standing request to be recognised by the BCCI be considered. This gesture will truly be an acknowledgement of their passion for the sport of cricket.You may also consider bringing these champions under the BCCI pension scheme towards their long-term financial security,” the letter read.
Meanwhile, the 44-year-old also hailed the team’s fighting spirit in the Blind World Cup, saying that the others should take inspiration from their victory.
“The team has overcome many hurdles and single-mindedly focussed on getting laurels for our country. Their victory is inspirational and reminds us of the limitless power of the human mind.I am given to understand that the BCCI has lent its support to these players in the past and considering a similar initiative this time too,” Tendulkar said in the letter.
Earlier, the players of the Indian blind cricket team had also asked the Ministry of Sports to give recognition to the CABI.
“The Cricket Association for the Blind in India (CABI) should be recognised by the Ministry of Sports. Our sports minister, Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, had no basic courtesy to come and meet us and wish us before we left [for the UAE]. I hope now he will answer with recognition,” Mahantesh G K, president of CABI, had told ANI.
The Indian blind cricket team was formed in 1998 and is currently being managed by the Cricket Association for the Blind in India (CABI), an independent entity backed by the Samarthanam Trust, a non-profit organisation.
India won the first T20 Blind World Cup in 2012. In 2014, they won the ODI World Cup in Cape Town, becoming the only team to achieve titles in both formats, and the Asian Championship in blind cricket.