Cricket Association for the Blind in India (CABI) on Thursday announced the captains for the Indian Blind Cricket teams (both men and women) that will represent the country in the upcoming International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) World Games 2023, Birmingham.
Ajay Kumar Reddy Illuri (B2 Category) has been named as the captain of the men's cricket team while Venkateswara Rao Dunna (B2 Category) has been appointed as his deputy for the IBSA World Games 2023 in Birmingham. Both players are from Andhra Pradesh.
Meanwhile, Varsha Umapathi (B1 Category) who hails from Karnataka will lead the women's cricket team. Phula Saren (B3 Category) from Odisha has been appointed as the vice-captain of the squad.
Cricket Association for the Blind in India (CABI) also unveiled jerseys (for both men's and women's teams) ahead of their debut in IBSA World Games 2023 in Birmingham.The Games are scheduled to be held from August 18 to August 27 and blind cricket has been included in the World Games for the first time.
Speaking on the announcement ahead of World Games, Buse Gowda, President, Cricket Association for the Blind in India (CABI) said, “I am happy and humbled to address my first Press Conference as a president as Indian Women’s and Men’s Cricket Teams are traveling to Birmingham to take part in the IBSA World Games. We are grateful to IBSA for including Cricket for the Blind for the first time in the World Games. This is the best opportunity to the players to represent the country and continue to be the World Champions.”
The Chairman of CABI Dr Mahantesh G Kivadasannavar said that this is the first tournament where both Men’s and Women’s Teams are taking part in the World Games. Indian Men’s team for the blind has won 3 T20 World Cups, 2 ODI World Cups and an Asia Cup in the last 10 years. It is now the turn of the Women’s team along with the Men’s team to keep the country’s Flag flying high in Birmingham.”
Varsha U, captain of Indian Women’s Cricket Team for the Blind, expressed her gratitude to CABI for giving the opportunity to lead the team in the historic championship. Ajay Kumar Reddy, captain of Indian Men’s Cricket Team for the Blind, spoke on the preparation for the tournament and how the team is excited to play competitive cricket at the IBSA World Games.