At a time when Sri Lanka captain Dinesh Chandimal helped three of the country’s blind cricketers with boots ahead of a tour of India to contest a bilateral and triangular series for the Blind 2018, India captain Ajay Reddy has rued the lack of support from BCCI and the government.
India beat Sri Lanka by 8 wickets to win the three-match ODI series and complete the second whitewash against the Islanders.
“We won so many World Cups still we are not getting that much recognition from BCCI. Other sports are getting so much recognition but not us,” Reddy told IANS on the sidelines of the third ODI here on Saturday.
Earlier this year, India retained the Blind Cricket World Cup title beating Pakistan by two wickets in a thrilling final.
Reddy, who also captained India to the 2017 Blind T20 World Cup, added that with financial support, which is at a bare minimum now, the players can focus on their game and fresh faces will also come up.
“If we get recognition, players will get jobs and they can focus more. More players will also come up.”
“We need financial support. We are asking the BCCI and the government of India to sanction some annual grant. We can then make one timetable, make our own grounds and conduct school level tournaments also,” added Reddy, who works for State Bank of India in Guntur.
The Indian blind cricket team is run and organised by the Cricket Association for the Blind in India (CABI) which is affiliated with the World Blind Cricket Council (WBCC).
Sri Lanka left-hander Chandana Deshappriya, a school teacher who cracked 190 on Saturday, said that their board has started helping them and Chandimal came out of his way to buy boots for three players who needed them.
“They (Sri Lanka Cricket) have started to support us. The Sri Lankan team gave luggage bags to the players and Dinesh Chandimal personally gave three players shoes.”
Coming to the match, India remained unbeaten throughout the home season which also featured England.
Batting first, Sri Lanka with the help of Desapriya’s unbeaten 190 posted a mammoth 369/4 on the board.
The target was huge and the Indian openers came out all guns blazing as both Anil Ghariya and Deepak Malik scored centuries to see India through to a comfortable win.
The winners were awarded a cash prize of Rs 1 lakh for both T20 series and ODI series. And the runners up were awarded Rs 50,000 for both the series.
Brief Scores: Sri Lanka 369/4 in 40 overs (Desapriya 190 not out, Suranga 84, Ajay 2/58) vs India 370/2 in 34.4 overs (Deepak 164 not out, Anil 120, Pathum 2/70)