D.N.I.S. News Network- While the immensely rich Board of Cricket Control in India (B.C.C.I.) continues to spend astronomical amount of money on promotion of Indian Cricket, the Association of Cricket for the Blind in India (A.C.B.I.) has once again raised the issue of lack of financial support and recognition for blind cricket.
The neglect by B.C.C.I. is only indicative of the general lack of understanding of the need and importance of supporting disabled sportsperson and events involving disabled people. In the specific case of blind cricket, the discrimination is most glaring as the country has already hosted two World Cups for visually impaired cricket teams.
These tournaments generated great enthusiasm among public at large and were covered extensively by media in 1998 and 2002. But the government and Sports Authority of India (S.A.I.) failed to proactively engage in this cause of blind cricket.
“It was tough to manage such a huge event (Indo-Pak blind cricket series). We have been trying our best to get the sport recognised, but lukewarm feedback from B.C.C.I. is what we have received so far,” P.S. Naidu, senior manager of A.C.B.I., was quoted as saying to a newspaper.
Citing comparisons with the government support and financial sops that the cricket for visually impaired has received in Pakistan and England, he laments: “It seems to narrate a poignant tale of discrimination and indifference towards visually-impaired cricketers in India.”
“We have also sought help from S.A.I. so that our plea gets heard by the B.C.C.I., but it hasn’t happened,” adds George Abraham, Chairman of A.C.B.I.
This story of step-motherly attitude towards sports involving disabled people is not merely restricted to an unsupportive government bureaucracy, but also extends to the corporate sector that doles out mega bucks for events involving non-disabled.