Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government has assured support for the ongoing 2nd T20 World Cup Cricket for the Blind that is being held in 10 cities across India between January 28 and February 12.

Commissioner cum Secretary, State Sports and Youth Services department, Vishal Dev has extended full-fledged support to the Cricket Association for the Blind in India (CABI), which is organizing the World Cup Cricket for the Blind.

Briefing media persons here today, Dev requested the people to watch the match in person and encourage the players. The first qualifying match of the event would be played between India and New Zealand at the KIIT University Grounds on February 7.

Announcing support towards the World Cup for the Blind, Dev, said it is vitally important to develop an ecosystem to foster sports for the differently abled as they evolve into a platform through which they can contribute equally to the society and the nation. It greatly helps to attain financial independence and an inclusive society. I am extremely happy to have rendered our responsibility of providing support towards the cause of cricket for the visually impaired in the country, on behalf of the Sports and Youth Services Department. I wish CABI and its affiliates all the very best. I urge one and all to show support by being present at the venue and cheering the players," he added.

Expressing his views on the state government supporting the noble Initiative, Strategist on Board of CABI, MJ Srikant said developing any initiative of public interest needs a pro-active support from government authorities, especially in the context of initiatives directed towards bettering the lives of the differently abled. “On behalf of CABI I sincerely thank the Odisha government for extending its support towards the 2nd T20 World Cup Cricket for the Blind. This comes in at the right time when we are garnering as much support as we can and ensure this World Cup will be a game changer for this format of the sport in the country," he pointed out.

"I thank the Sports and Youth Services Department for the support they have provided. It will certainty help the visually impaired community across the nation," said Sabyasachi Mishra, the recently chosen Brand Ambassador of Cricket for the Blind in Odisha.

Sanyasi Behera, secretary, Odisha Blind Association, talked about his experience of Blind Cricket and sought sincere cooperationand encouragement from the cricket lovers of Odisha.

Rahul Dravid is the official Brand Ambassador for the tournament while cricket stars Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, KL Rahul, Umesh Yadav, Gautam Gambhir and Bollywood actor Anupam Kher have also come forward to support and promote Blind Cricket.

Former Indian cricketer Dilip Vengsarkar and many other cricketers have come forward to support this international event.

Ananta Kishore Jena, Director, Sports & Youth Services thanked the media and hoped that it will play a key role in highlighting this international event.