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  • 1. Affiliated to World Blind Cricket Council SBI T20 World Cup Cricket for the Blind re, India ngalo 012 at Ba mber 2 Dece 9 ma tches 3 tries, T20 World Cup oun for the Blind 9C t ! nar y even e ext raordi On Beat The Ordinary! Blind Crick et for the The very rmat 0 fo first ti me in T2
  • 2. 1
  • 3. FOREWORD Mr. Mahantesh. G.K E very journey is a story. And stories are often told in their true grace with a book. The journey of the first ever Blind Cricket T20 World Cup is a monumental leap, a result of vision, efforts and collaboration with many unique and gifted individuals and institutions. Borne out of the rigorous striving of the last eighteen months, we have finally taken the decisive step towards proving that no matter who you are, no matter how we are, the simplest and the sole reason towards achievement is a resolute will. I remember the loud cheers and moans of the spectators for what is our countrys most celebrated obsession. I always knew that I will one day, be a part of the same celebration and that I will not be alone to do so. The T20 World Cup Bangalore for Blind Cricket is a consolidation, a manifestation of that very belief. We prove that in one of the biggest game on this planet, we are as good a player, as capable a team as any. And this is the book of that very journey, the consolidation, a manifesto and a proof of that striving. Within the pages of this book, you will know our story of struggles, the aspirations, and the solidarity of those who were with us at every turn of this project. This book is a tribute, to the unconquerable will of those who refused to let a disability hinder their passion, a tribute to the excellence that resides in those who were generous with their contributions, guidance and encouragement. It is a humble announcement, that with steel resolve and softened, much overdue learning, we are here, and we may falter, but we shall never stop, we shall never pause, and the passion that you have allowed us to express this passion in such fervent manner will always continue to be celebrated. But a much under expressed thanks to our capable, resourceful and talented support staff and management teams to turn these very obstacles into opportunities along with the secure backing of our esteemed sponsors such as SBI, GOK, GOI, GAIL, Tata Tea, ONGC, ICCR, KIOCL, Tata Tea, BMTC, CBM, Boost, Jindal Steel, Computer Age Chennai, PES IT College, and Coca Cola. We also would never forget the generous encouragement of our esteemed patrons MP Mr. Oscar Fernandez and Mr. Syed Kirmani and the extensive and interactive mentorship of Mr. Gautam Gambhir, Mr. Adam Gilchrist and the team of Kings XI Punjab. With the firm support of State Government of Karnataka, Honorable Chief Minister Shri Jagdish Shettar, British High Commission, World Blind Cricket Council and generous encouragement of our Brand Ambassador, Mr. Saurav Ganguly, the T20 World Cup for Blind 2012 is now an event that shall hosted teams from nine nations spanning from our very own subcontinent to the far end of the Atlantic. A journey that began in May 2011, with Cricket Association for Blind in India securing the hosting rights to the unveiling of the most important instrument of the game, the Ball2
  • 4. in February 2012 to the selection of the final teams representing nine nations of Australia, Bangladesh, England, Pakistan, South Africa, West Indies, Sri Lanka, Nepal and India, to the ceremonies and matches, it has been a journey filled with thrilling discoveries, inspirational learning and most of all, discovering how resilient our determination is to make this event possible. The following pages will present to you, souvenirs of that very determination and the support it received from every august person such as you to make it all possible. What you now hold in your hand is the account of that very journey, the manifestation and our efforts that have brought forth this joyous leap of success. So at the eve of our greatest success I humbly off to the world this book, a written manifestation of our belief that discipline, determination, teamwork, strategic acumen and a fierce will to compete is not dependent on one single attribute. It is and will always be, achievable for those who believe in the strength of their efforts and the glory of the sweat of the struggle. We prove to the world, that when those who may not perceive the world in conventional manner begin the game, the world sits up and pays attention. I invite you, fellow august patrons, to be a part of changing the history and the story of how those that were considered to be of less capability have proved that with the precision and the true determination, can stand at par with the rest of the world and proclaim glory as their right, as their worthy accolade. Like the journey, this book too, would not have been possible, if not for the Cricket Association of the Blind in India (CABI), the apex body that organizes and conducts cricket for the blind across India. A non-profit organization with the objectives of inculcating awareness across a strong network of friends, volunteers and fellow members by organizing tournaments, employment opportunities and infrastructure to provide a platform for the abilities and skills of the visually impaired. Similarly, a host of contributions, encouragements, proofs of solidarity were bestowed generously in order to make possible, the bringing of this book to you, by titans of industries across the globe, who for the lack of space, but not lack of gratitude, will be found along with their testimonials of being a part of this book, this journey in the pages within. It feels to be a great accomplishment, a humble measure of pride and an immense joy, to bring you The Odyssey of Visions: The Journey and Future of Cricket for the Visually Impaired. Souvenir foreword Mahantesh G Kivadassanavar Founder Managing Trustee, Samarthanam Trust for the Disabled, General Secretary, Cricket Association for the Blind in India (CABI) & Vice-President World Blind Cricket Council (WBCC)
  • 5. Sports for the Differently-abled Samarthanam has been a fervent and enthusiastic promoter of sports for the visually impaired for over a decade. At Samarthanam, sports is considered a rightful pursuit for the visually impaired and is recognized as a platform for their physical and social development. “The visually impaired too should have the opportunity to be a part of sporting glory”, says Samarthanam Founder and National Award winner G.K. Mahantesh emphatically. Samarthanam and Sports has exposed him to important aspects of life — discipline, teamwork, fitness, strategic planning, Promoting sports for the differently-abled is not competitiveness and sportsman spirit. a new ballgame for Samarthanam. Samarthanam has a rich history of promoting a When Girisha Hosanagara Nagarajegowda spectrum of sporting activities for the differently won the silver medal at the 2012 London abled over the years. In recognition of Paralympics, everyone at Samarthanam Samarthanams contribution towards sport, our rejoiced. Girisha says, "I had no money, no Founder Trustee Mahantesh was awarded the rewards, no job, and not one person to support NDTV Spirit of Sport Award, 2011 in the me. I enrolled myself for BPO training with “Against the Odds – Lifetime Achievement” Samarthanam and was pushed to restart my category. sports training.” At Samarthanam, there have been several Cricket Association for the Blind in India (CABI) success stories of sport transforming lives. is an initiative of Samarthanam that organises cricket for the blind across the country. It was a Samarthanam takes pride in the achievements proud moment for us when Samarthanam CABI of Sekar Naik, the captain of the Indian blind won the hosting rights for the T – 20 World Cup cricket team. Sekar Naik, partially sighted and Cricket for the Blind 2012. orphaned in childhood, has been with Samarthanam for a decade and believes cricket Cricket and Me - Article by Samarthanam Founder Managing Trustee Mr. G.K. Mahantesh Being an Indian, Cricket has always been and surely are very important, as you will agree!). will always be an inseparable part of any Very soon, I and my friends took to the streets, citizens identity. And for me, it was much more spending hours adapted the rules and than merely a modicum of national passion, it protocols of our cricket matches, their was an obsession. A beautiful clean obsession understanding and solidarity towards my that allowed me to make friends with those suitability to the game, making me a part of their who shared my love for this sport and even team and one that was helmed by a very good today, this habit of befriending a fellow captain, allowing me to learn the nuances of devotee of Cricket instantly is continued. The leadership and teamwork from the team as a memory of the energetic frantic commentary whole. The Radio or the Transistor was a on the radio during the late seventies in a constant and much favored companion of mine match where India, Australia and Pakistan had the entire time. locked horns in a nail biting tournament, I was introduced to the exhilaration by my uncle and In 1981, I joined Shree Ramanamaharishi a neighbor who worked in Karnataka Electricity Academy for the Blind. Over here I learned that Board. I was the messenger for them who was those like me, my visually impaired friends, not duly called for every fifteen minutes to update only followed the commentary avidly but also them with the scores and the status of the had a unique manner of playing and enjoying match, a duty which enabled in me a skill of the game themselves. I remember vividly, listening and remembering the specifics and pleading my father to buy us cricket equipments meticulous details of any information that is such as the willow bats, cork balls, stumps etc. supposed to be important (the cricket scores Owing to the strict schedule of our school, we4
  • 6. had devised a clever solution of using paper rolls and I share a deep love and bond borne out ofclumped together for balls and bamboo slats for our mutual fondness for the game of Cricket.bats. Our devotion to cricket was rebelliouslymanifested on Sunday, a day reserved Samarthanam launched us as the formal andirrevocably to cricket. We were very lucky that foremost representatives of the Cricketour school management and faculty, especially Association for the Blind in India and we handledKR Rajendra Sir, Secretary of the school and Raj the promotion of the game in south India withGopal sir along with a host of teachers not only much success. Organizing several tournamentsencouraged us vehemently, but to our delight, at various levels, we took a conscious decisionoften joined in to play with us. The most that Samarthanam shall be responsible tosensational of the firsts in my lifelong devotion to provide employment to the visually impairedcricket arrived in 1986, trip from the school on cricketers. A glorious result of this decision wasmy visit to England, where I came across a cricket the formidable Karnataka Team formed in 1997,ball that was roughly half the size of a football which still plays to the date, and Mr. Abrahamand jingled when it was bounced. I was invited us to take forth our vision and ourmesmerized with my new found discovery, my strivings ahead on a national level. It was apartial sight enabling me to spot the location of natural choice to say yes and thus Cricketthe ball much more accurately and soon I was Association for the Blind in India was born insmashing that jingling orb over the boundaries 2010 by Samarthanam. In the recent past,or aptly putting my team on path to victory by another milestone in this passion was enshrinedcatching it without a glitch. This was the time of when I was offered with the responsibility of Vice1988-89 and I was very much excited to have this President for the World Blind Cricket Council,new equipment added and adapted by teams in which further strengthened my vigor tothe first ever national tournament for the blind, promote cricket for the blind at the global level.organized by Mr. George Abraham. To myimmense pride, I was appointed as the captain of I remember in college, my friends, and inmy team and I often gloat that our team was one Samarthanam, my volunteers, shared my deepof the favorites of the first championship, albeit, fanaticism for cricket, the former bunking classeswe lost the semifinals. My passion was propelled on a frequent note to catch the cricketfull force now and I continued playing Cricket, commentary, spending nights sleeplessly, ourretaining my captaincy till 1994. It was then, due ears sticking to the radio to absorb every wordto my academic commitments, under the ambit about the matches happening on far awayof Rajendra Sir and Mr. Abraham, that I joined continents of the world. It is this passion that hasthe organizing panel, devoting my time to brought to me the companionship and honor ofpromoting and bringing the game I so loved to knowing titans such as B S Chandrashekhar andthe masses. In 1996, I was bestowed with the Syed Kirmani ji.responsibility of helming the south zone affairs ofCricket for the Blind. 1997, I was part of the My childhood and my school life were filled withIndian Delegation for the World Blind Cricket devotion to the game, from our uncle regaling usCouncil conference, held at Cape Town. 1998 with the commentary and legends of cricket tocame forth with a huge advancement in the my meticulous scheduling of my day to sync itform of me being a part of organizing committee with test matches, my own cricket matches asin the World Cup 1998 and 2002, held in India, as well as convincing our school to buy us a newguided and organized by Mr. George Abraham. ball that was filled with metal ball bearings andOne of the beautiful aspects of Cricket in my life metal wickets. We know now, this Dehra Dunwas the opportunity to meet and connect with organizations invention of the bearing-filledyoungsters who have the passion but not balls is now a standard of our game.necessarily the skills or the guidance required forCricket. I was deeply moved and motivated andalong with my friend Nagesh, I established For me, Cricket began as a game, became a waySamarthanam Trust for the Disabled. This of life and today it is my strongest modusventure was always a possibility because Nagesh operandi to bring about a change in this world.
  • 7. From learning my own strengths of confidence, introducing cricket as a way of life. Today, with social skills, strategic planning to teamwork and the grace and support of friends, family, co- then graduating to understanding, organizing, workers, Cricket for the Blind stands on the education, training and rehabilitation of the doorstep of history with the first ever World Cup sports programs, cultural modules, Cricket and T20 for Blind, a marvelous journey begins, as one the people Ive met while associated with it have ends, where we now reach for goals that a few taught me all I know. Samarthanam, the result of years ago were beyond our imaginations. I am these learnings, focuses on abilities of a player to moved beyond words, to have come this far, and enhance them, allowing me to be an agent of realize that now, I shall travel with those who change, bringing together people of various share my love to provide and initiate a positive cultures and continents, broadening the transformation for the visually impaired via the horizons in this ever shrinking world and game I love, everywhere. Cricket Association for the Blind (CABI) The Cricket Association for the Blind in India (CABI) is affiliated to WBCC and Paralympics Committee of India an umbrella Organisation reccognised by Ministry of sports, Government of India. CABI organizes and conducts cricket for blind across India, and is the sports initiative of Samarthanam Trust for the Disabled. CABI is a registered non-profit organization, affiliated to the World Blind Cricket Council (WBCC). The WBCC granted the hosting rights for the T – 20 World Cup Cricket for the Blind to Samarthanam CABI. CABIs Goals 1. To provide opportunities to the visually impaired to exhibit their skills before a larger audience, and to create awareness among the public about the abilities and talent of the visually impaired. 2. To organize a regular domestic calendar with coaching camps, tournaments at various levels as well as bilateral series and overseas tours. 3. To create a strong network and infrastructure by taking on board active local bodies and blind schools and Institutions formulate guidelines and monitor. 4. To help the local bodies to organize local level tournaments to spot talent. Form teams with coaches, physiotherapists, trainers, umpires and other personnel and oversee. 5. To work towards getting support and affiliation from BCCI and Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of India. T – 20 World Cup Cricket for the Blind The first ever T – 20 World Cup Cricket for the Blind held in December 2012 in Bangalore. Australia, Bangladesh, England, Pakistan, South Africa, West Indies, Sri Lanka, Nepal and host country India – took part. The Brand Ambassador for the T-20 World Cup Cricket for the Blind is Sourav Ganguly, former captain of the Indian cricket team.6
  • 8. Blind Cricket – The Origin and the JourneyBy George Abraham, Founding Chairman, World Blind Cricket CouncilThe year was 1989, I was a guest at the NIVH (National Institute for the Visually Handicapped)Dehradun where I first saw a group of blind kids play cricket. The passion was high, the skills weregood and the cricket was intense. Four thoughts crossed my mind.1. Cricket could provide blind kids with an engaging platform for recreation.2. Cricket like all other sport could be a very effective tool for rehabilitation.3. Cricket as a game could help the blind players demonstrate and project their talent, ability andpotential.4. There were possibilities of organising blind cricket not only at a state and national level but alsoat an international level.I decided to promote cricket for the blind. We organized the first ever national cricket tournament atNew Delhi in December, 1990. Nineteen teams from across the country participated in this eventwhich was inaugurated by the late Sri Madhavrao Scindia and the Chief Guest at the closing functionwas Sri Rajiv Gandhi. The tournament was sponsored mainly by Tata Steel along with several smallercontributions from individuals and companies. Former cricketers like Kapil Dev, Maninder Singh anArun Lal also visited the various grounds to watch the cricket and encourage the players.We had consciously promoted the event as a sponsored activity since we believed that “Sponsorshiprecognized the ability while charity was a response to disability”. The focus was on the ability and ourendeavor was to showcase the talent and potential.The national tournament became an annual affair and by 1994 the response for participation hadrisen to the extent that we had to split the country into four zones and have zonal tournamentsleading to the national tournament. Some states like Gujarat, Karnataka and Maharashtra beganholding state level events.At Ahmedabad in 1993, during the closing function of the third national tournament, I announcedthat we will organize the first ever World Cup of Cricket for the Blind at New Delhi in 1998. Theresponse to this was overwhelming and the excitement spread across the country. The excitementwas not just amongst the blind players, the media also for the first time started taking serious notice ofcricket for the blind.By the end of 1994, I began connecting with organizations in the various cricket playing nations whowere involved with blind cricket. In October 1995, I travelled to Sydney to address the Australian BlindCricket Council. I spoke to them about the need for international cricket and our plans of organizingthe first ever World Cup. Likewise, in May 1996, I visited London to meet up with the Cricket committeeof the British Blind Sport. The response from the two countries was encouraging.In September, we organized the first ever international conference of blind cricket at New Delhi.Representatives from seven countries viz. Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, England, Pakistan, SriLanka and India attended. Three crucial decisions were taken.1. The playing rules for the international game were arrived at after a great deal of discussions. Itwas decided to use the Indian ball for international games.2. The World Blind Cricket Council was formed and I was elected as its founding chairman.3. The date for the inaugural World Cup was fixed as November, 1998 and the venue was to beNew Delhi. The focus shifted to the organizing of the World Cup. This involved looking for sponsors, puttingtogether the logistics, setting up an organizing committee, the promotions and coordination with thegovernment. The journey was tough. Cricket has a great following in India but people willing to putup money for the Blind World Cup were hard to find. Unlike mainstream cricket events, we had severalsmall sponsors and one major sponsor in kind, the Kanishka Hotel.The organiaing committee also was put together with great difficulty. It was tough to find individualswho were willing to invest their time. The burden of driving the World Cup campaign was mainly onthe shoulders of my good friend D. Ranganathan and myself. As we soldiered along, two retiredofficers from the forces joined up with us - Air Marshal S. K. Chaturvedi an Colonel Sardev Singh. The
  • 9. four of us slowly built a team of core volunteers who then took responsibility for the various aspects of the event. The World Cup was inaugurated on the 16th of November by Mr.Madan Lal Khurana and the event started in right earnest on the 17th of November. We had used a total of six cricket grounds across Delhi, We had an international panel of umpires and a total of over 150 volunteeers during the tournament. South Africa defeated Pakistan in the finals and the Honble President of India Sri K. R. Narayanan gave away the prizes. Personalities like Madhavrao Scindia, Sunil Gavaskar and Arun Shourie were present at the finals. The global media had covered the entire event. Overall, the tournament was a resounding success. New Zealand came forward to organize the second World Cup at Christchurch, however they backed out at the last moment. We put up our hands and agreed to organize the second World Cup at Chennai. This time organizing of the event was much easier, however finding the sponsors was just as tough. But then December, 2002 witnessed the successful hosting of the Petro World Cup at Chennai. Putting together the blind cricket programme over the past several years including the national tournaments and World Cups have been a huge effort. This is particularly so because we were not people of influence, we are not people of wealth and our cause is generally seen as a low priority. While we are thrilled that we were able to promote and give cricket for the blind some shape and direction, we are extremely disappointed for the lack of support from the BCCI, the mainstream and the government. The mainstream corporate sector and individuals have certainly made a contribution but I would say that much more could have been done. After over 18 years of promoting the sport not only in India but also internationally, I decided to declare my innings closed and handed over the mantle of promoting the sport to Samarthanam and Mahantesh. The show has to go on. I congratulate the Samarthanam team for the wonderful World T- 20 that they have put together at Bangalore in the winter of 2012. Let cricket go on while the baton is passed on from generation to generation. Samarthanam CABI and Sports · CABI an Initiative of Samarthanam funded the Indian blind cricket teams tour of England (2010). The Indian team defeated England in a four-match one-day series. · Samarthanam athletes took home seven medals at the 17th National Sports Meet for the Blind (2010) held at Chandigarh. Samarthanams medal tally included three golds and Subramani broke the national record in shot put. · Samarthanam hosted the FIDE rating National Open Chess Tournament for the Blind 2012, in association with All India Chess Federation for the Blind. 100+ visually impaired chess players from across the country took part in the tournament. A mind game involving strategy and tactics, chess is easily adapted for visually impaired players. Blind Chess requires immense concentration and memory; the power and capacity of the human mind is astounding. · For several years now, Samarthanam students have won the Republic Day state march-past parade, and received the award from the Governors and Chief Ministers of Karnataka. The Run-up to the World Cup The first ever T – 20 World Cup Cricket for the Blind held in December 2012 in Bangalore. Australia, Bangladesh, England, Pakistan, South Africa, West Indies, Sri Lanka, Nepal and host country India – took part. The Brand Ambassador is former captain of the Indian cricket team, Sourav Ganguly. Over the past couple of years, several events took place, leading up to the grand finale – the World Cup. We take a walk down memory lane here.8
  • 10. CABI registered CABI won hosting rights (May 2011)Cricket Association for the Blind (CABI) is the apexbody that organizes and conducts cricket for blind The World Blind Cricket Council (WBCC) grantedacross India. CABI is a registered non-profit the hosting rights for the T – 20 World Cup Cricketorganization, affiliated to the World Blind Cricket for the Blind 2012 to CABI, at the annual generalCouncil (WBCC). CABI is the sports initiative of meeting held in Dubai. many programmes andSamarthanam Trust for the Disabled – an NGO events were consciously planned for the biggerand pioneer of blind cricket in India. event .18th National Cricket tournament for the the T20 worldcup for the blind, amidst legendaryblind (Sep 2011) cricketers and other celebsHeld at Mysore, and called Dasara Cup, the Indo-Pak bilateral series at Chennai (Mar 2012)tournament was conducted as a first step in the The India-Pakistan bilateral Blind Cricket Series atselection process of the Indian Blind Cricket Chennai was organised by Samarthanam withteam to tour Pakistan, and to spot talent for the support from the Tamil Nadu Cricket AssociationT – 20 World Cup Cricket. The participating for the Blind. The tournament was inaugurated by former captain of the Indian cricket team &teams were North, East, West and South zones; BCCI Selection Committee Chairman Shri.blind cricketers from across India took part. Krishnamachari Srikanth.Indian teams tour of Pakistan (Nov 2011)The Indian team, funded by Samarthanam,travelled to Pakistan to play the Indo-Pak seriesat Lahore & Islamabad . The team met with MPand former minister Mr. Oscar Fernandes. The Krishnamachari Srikanth at the Indo-Pak series Syed Kirmani at thesquad also interacted with the talented Indian Ball Launch Ceremonyopener Gautam Gambhir at a conditioning Corporate Cricket tournament (Mar-Apr 2012)camp, and picked up many tips. A corporate cricket tournament was organized by Samarthanam in aid of the T-20 Blind CricketBall unveiled at KSCA stadium, Bangalore (25 World Cup. to create awareness amongFeb 2012) corporates.The blind cricket ball was officially unveiled for Interaction with Gilchrist and Kings XI Punjab (Apr 2012)The IPL team, Kings XI Punjab, was in Bangalore very humbling experience for us to beto pledge their support for the T-20 World Cup associated with Samarthanam and BlindCricket for the Blind. Pakistan all-rounder Azhar cricket. We look forward to extending outMahmood, Harmeet Singh, Parvinder Awanaand Bhargav Bhatt were also present. Thewinning team of the recently concluded Indo-Pak blind cricket series was felicitated by KingsXI Punjab captain Adam Gilchrist and players.Gilchrist commented on their skills, “Some ofthe direct hits are quite difficult even forprofessional cricketers who are sighted.” “It is a Logo launched (Aug 2012) Adam Gilchrist and Kings XI players with Samarthanam team An event specific logo for the T-20 World Cup Cricket for the Blind was launched by musical legend Shri S.P. Balasubramaniam, in the presence of veteran cricketers B.S. Chandrashekar & Syed Kirmani, as well as yesteryear actors and reigning stars from the Kannada film industry. Following the logo launch, the man with the golden voice performed live as thousands of Bangaloreans present in the audience listened spellbound.
  • 11. Mascot Unveiled (Sep 2012) Sourav Ganguly was formally introduced as Brand Ambassador of T-20 World Cup Cricket for the Blind. This cricketing icon has donned many avatars - opener, all-rounder, captain, mentor, commentator - and his latest is as the Brand Ambassador for the T-2- World Cup Cricket for the Blind. Sourav Ganguly unveiled the official mascot for the tournament at Le Meridien, Bangalore. Ganguly also autographed bats at the venue that were auctioned later to raise funds for the World Cup. CABI Representatives in Sri Lanka (25 Sep 2012) Sourav Ganguly unveiling the mascot CABI representatives visited Colombo to brief ICC T-20 World Cup players. They met with players like Yuvraj Singh, Irfan Pathan, Zaheer Khan, Virat Kohli, R. Ashwin and Chris Gayle. The cricketers pledged their support for the T-20 World Cup Cricket for the Blind. the team also met up with Legendary Cricketer Arjuna Ranatunga and invited in to be part of the event, which he overwhelmingly agreed and enabled Sri Lankan team to come to India. Samarthanam team with Chris Gayle, Ashwin R , Irfan Pathan Samarthanam team meets Arjuna Ranatunga, Virat Kohli, Zaheer Khan, Yuvraj Singh CEOs Meet hosted by British High and culture but IT and sports as well, and cricket Commission (27 Sep 2012) in particular for the blind, which is a feat in itself. I am proud to be a part of this event and would be Top CEOs from India and U.K. came together to happy to lend my support in whatever way I raise funds for the T20 World Cup Cricket for can." the Blind. The meet at the ITC Gardenia Hotel was hosted by the British High Commission. Mr. Ian Felton, the British Deputy High Commissioner said, “I am happy to have been involved with the Samarthanam Trust for the Disabled. Britain has always been actively in sports including the recently concluded Paralympics. Samarthanam is a wonderful organization fostering not only education, art Samarthanam team with the British High Commissioner National Blind Cricket tournament Samarthanam Bengaluru Walkathon (Oct 7-9 2012) (17 Nov 2012) The Samarthanam Bengaluru Walkathon was Inaugurated by honble Chief Minister Jagdish organized in aid of the World Cup, as an awareness campaign and fundraising event. Shettar at Dharwad, the tournament was The walkathon was organized by partly sponsored by the Lions Club of Samarthanam, in partnership with Karnataka Dharwad and saw sixty cricketers from across Sports Association for Physically Handicapped. India contesting for a berth in the national The 3.5 km long walkathon had 10,000 side for the T-20 World Cup at Bangalore. participants from various walks of life. The entire Indian Blind cricket squad comprising National selection trials (Oct 12-14 2012) seventeen players took part in the walkathon to A national-level blind cricket tournament was promote the World Cup. Several dignataries , held at Kochi, Kerala. Indian cricketers S include His worshipful Mayor Shri Venkatesh Sreesanth, Irfan Pathan, Y Venugopal Rao, Murthy, Shri Chandrakanth Bellad, Hon MLA, Varun Aaron and Ranji trophy players, Dharwad, Shri B N Vijakumar Hon MLA, including Keralas Prashant Chandran, C M Deepak, Rafi Vincent Gomez, Sony Jayangar, Shri Nagaraj Ruling party leader10 Cheruvathur and others extended support. BBMP, Bangalore were present at the event
  • 13. Press Conference by chief patron, Oscar Fernandes (21 Nov 2012) Our chief patron who has been a source of strength has been with us supporting us immensely connecting us to various potential supporters, was instrumental right from the initial days, and organised for a Press Conference in Delhi, addressing media he appealed to every Indian to support this International event happening in Bangalore, India Press Conference at Mövenpick Hotel & Spa Bangalore (28 Nov 2012) The names of the selected players from India were announced at the press conference presided by Mr. Ashwini Mehra, Chief General Manager of State Bank of India Bangalore circle, who unveiled the jersey of the Indian team. Also present at the conference were Mr. Bhavani Prasad, General Secretary, World Blind Cricket Council (WBCC), Ms. Sitara Rao, Director Sales and Marketing, Mövenpick Hotel & Spa Bangalore, Mr. G.K Mahantesh, Founder Managing Trustee of Samarthanam & the General Secretary of CABI, Mr. SP Nagesh, President of CABI, Mr. Syed Sultan Shah, Chairman, Pakistan Blind Cricket Council and delegates of WBCC. The organisers officially announced and acknowledged the prime sponsors State Bank of India, for coming forward to support the event as title sponsors , and Tata Tea a for sponsoring the Indian team and many others who came forward to support and partner in the event WBCC Annual General Body Meeting CABI hosted the 2012 AGM at Movenpick Hotel & Spa, on 28th & 29th of December 2012 , delegates from 9 countries attended and elected the new team to manage WBCC, we are proud to have two prime posts coming to India, Mr. Mahantesh Gen Secy of CABI was unanimously elected as the first Vice president of WBCC and his counterpart and president of CABI Mr Nagesh was elected as Director PR & Fundraising. Gearing up for the World Cup The World Cup involved a massive exercise in Preparing for a World Cup event, and that too Public Relations. LIN Opinion was hired to the first of its kind, was a daunting task. Everyone augment Samarthanams PR effort. Print and at Samarthanam and CABI, from the Founder to electronic media coverage helped garner the employees, volunteers and well-wishers publicity for the event. CNN IBN, NDTV, Jet have tirelessly worked to rise up to the challenge Airways, Hindustan Times, The Hindu, The Times of putting together the plan for the event, and of India, Deccan Herald The Indian Express and executing it. several other vernacular and regional media carried articles on the World Cup. Social media, 39 matches were to be held from December 2nd websites and other online communication with the final on Dec 13th. Nine teams from channels were tapped effectively. Fifty hoardings across the world were slated to play against were strategically placed across the city of each other and fight for berths in the two semi- Bangalore. finals (Dec 12) and final (Dec 13). State of the art arrangements we made for the Preparation for this mega international event event began in 2011, with a proposal being created. In · Transport – Airconditioned Volvo buses from seeking sponsorship, many hundreds of BMTC were made available for players organizations were approached, of which · Lodging & Boarding – Movenpick hotel & Spa several did not document cricket as part of with luxury 5 star facilities and trained staff to Corporate Social Responsbility (CSR). That did handle visually challenged not deter the organizers, who knocked the · Medical Partners – M S Ramaiah Hospital doors of government, private firms and · Communication partner – Tata Docomo was philanthropic foundations. These efforts paid onboarded as communication partner off, with State Bank of India (SBI) emerging as · Bisleri Mountain water – served as water prime sponsors of the Indian team. partner12
  • 14. · Indian Express - As an media print partner · Red FM 93.5 – Radio Partner. · ATE – Air travel was the official travel partner · Grounds – exclusive grounds were identified, keeping several apects in mind, two grounds were made available, ground A – Central college cricket ground wase exclusively prepared and made conducive for the event of this magnitude because of its location advantage, ground B – Aditya Global was selected because of its class, to give the visiting teams a feel of the grounds in India, both grounds had turf wickets. And each hosting 18 league matches from 2nd to 10th Dec, GroundA _ Central College grounds will witness 2 semifinal matches and the grand finale on the 13th · Security – The Karnataka police has extended excellent security for the event . · Raj Events – was hired to manage the event. No effort was spared to make the event successful and memorable. The U.S. Consul General, Australian High Commission, British High Commission and the New Zealand Consul General endorsed the event, and gave the organizers an international foothold and furthered the cause. Among the other dignitaries were Director General of ICCR , Ms. Jennifer McIntyre , David Holly, Australian Consul-General to South India who expressed their heartfelt wishes to the event,a colorful display of cultural performances by 2012 kids performing for the grand opening ceremony representing many schools in bangalore Legendary cricketer BS Chandrashekar presided over the function and declared the event open, by releasing balloons,followed by a wonderful display of firework. The first match had the honor of Jennifer Mc Intyre tossing the coinInaugural CeremonyAfter months of anticipation, the T-20 World Cup for the Blind was declared open with a formalinaugural ceremony.The World Cup was flagged off on December 1 with a formal flag hoisting ceremony followed by amarch past which saw participation from the Navy & Army forces. Cultural troupe Sunadha enthralledthe audience with their spectacular performance, Shri Krishna Mohan Trivedi, the GM, Bangalore Circle,State Bank of India and cricket legend BS Chandrasekhar presided over the event. Syed Kirmani, whodue to health reasons could not make it, sent his best wishes to all the participating nations.In his acceptance speech, Mr. Mahantesh, Founder Managing Trustee of Samarthanam and the GeneralSecretary of Cricket Association for the Blind in India (CABI) said, “After months of speculation, the day isfinally here. All the teams have practiced with all their heart and soul. I am glad that we have the supportof such eminent members from our country to support the T20 Cricket World Cup for the Blind. Also, thetournament involves no tickets; its an open show for one and all. We want everyone to rejoice andboost up the morale of all the cricketers participating from the nine different teams across the world. Mygood wishes to all of them.”
  • 15. Message from Former India Cricketer I would like to congratulate Samarthanam Trust for the Disabled and Cricket Association for the Blind in India (CABI) for taking the initiative to host the 1st ever T-20 World Cup Cricket tournament for the blind in the city of Bangalore. This for me personally is a very thrilling thought, as far as I know the visually impaired children started their cricketing career by listening to the radio commentary and now showing their hidden talents on the field as well. Such tournaments help to build personal contacts and relationships with the neibouring countries. I wish all players for their participation in the T-20 World Cup Cricket for the Blind in Bangalore, being organized by Samarthanam-CABI. My Best Regards, B. S. Chandrashekar, Former India Cricketer Message from Samarthanam Trustee We started Samarthanam on 26th February 1997 with lots of hope and colorful dreams. Many dedicated hands joined us to fulfill our dreams come true. We offer our sincere prayers to almighty to bless all those who came forward to make our dreams come true. Let this T-20 World Cup for the Blind be a successful event. Myself and our students are proud to be part of the cricket for the blind. Vasanti Savanur. Trustee, Samarthanam Trust for the Disabled.14
  • 16. Many thanks…. To each and every one of You The worlds greatest event is a non-event if it does not reach people. It was Norman Vincent Peale who said the more you lose yourself in something bigger than yourself, the more energy you will have. We did just that at Samarthanam Trust for the Disabled and our seminal T20 World Cup for the Blind strode the national (and even international) stage like a colossus. But that was possible only because of the magnificent support extended by the media across all channels, viz. print, online, social media networks, radio, road shows, and of course, even word of mouth. RD 320 Bikers club hit the road to promote our event, like our cheer boys, radio jingles celebrated the event on-the-go, our online warriors waged a viral campaign on Facebook and social media, the TV channels vied with one another to capture the memorable moments for eternity, the print media made it the staple of breaking news all through the event, from regional to national and even international media, while celebrities lent their star power with Saurav Ganguly batting for the T20 World Cup for the Blind as its Brand Ambassador releasing the mascot, and Legendry Cricketers Syed Kirmani and BS Chandrashekar unveiling the T-20 World Cup Logo. The success of an event can be best gauged not by what one puts into it, but what one gets out of it. By this yardstick, the T20 World Cup for the Blind is right up among the best. We can never thank each and every one you who responded spontaneously and overwhelmingly to our request to make it an event to cherish not only for the visually impaired participants, but also those like them and others to get inspired and dare to pursue their dreams. On behalf of the Samarthanam Trust for the Disabled and Cricket Association for the Blind in India as the PR head, let me once again say that I would like to thank each and every one of you from the bottom of my heart, but for you my heart has no bottom…. KISHORE JOSEPH PR & Media Relations Manager Cricket Association for the Blind in India The T-20 World Cup Cricket for the Blind being an event of great scale and magnitude, there were innumerable expenses to be tracked and funds to be managed. Prioritizing expenditure, maintaining transparency, channeling funds and documenting inflows/outflows was crucial. At the same time, responses had to be swift, no delays could be introduced. Fund management was a challenge, and I am glad to say we did a tremendous job of it. I am honoured that I was able to contribute in whatever way possible to the first-ever T-20 World Cup Cricket for the Blind. Anjanaappa Chief Account Officer Cricket Association for the Blind in India SBI T20 WORLD CUP CORE COMMITTEEChandrashekhar Girish David Anuradha Rajendra Kishore Satish.K Kumar S.P.Nagesh Prasanna John Annamma Krishnaiah Devaraj Prashanth Lalitha Niharika Srinivasulu Prateek Sunil Mallikarjun Binoy
  • 17. Message from CABI President It is with great pleasure that we received the news that the World Blind Cricket Council (WBCC) had granted the hosting rights of the World Cup to India, and the first ever T20 World Cup Cricket for the Blind would be hosted in the garden city, Bangalore. I hope that all – participants and spectators, hosts and visitors, differently-abled and able-bodied alike – enjoy the game. This is the first time that Samarthanam and CABI are hosting an event of this magnitude. We hope millions view the proceedings, and the tournament has a long term impact for the visually impaired in India and abroad. Individuals faced with a disability often feel a sense of loss, diminished confidence, depression and a disconnect from friends and family. Sports and competition build confidence and help restore self-esteem by providing disabled athletes with a forum in which they can succeed and excel. Sports give disabled athletes the strategic tools they need to cope with adversity and challenge, both on the playing field and in daily life. On a different but equally important front, we hope that avenues are created for the differently-abled in terms of education and job opportunities. I would like to thank all the sponsors who have come forward to help us realise our dream. I would also like to take the opportunity to appreciate the hard work and indomitable spirit of Samarthanam staff and volunteers. I hope this is the beginning of a better future for blind cricket. S.P. Nagesh President, Cricket Association for the Blind in India (CABI) The Journey, road map leading to T-20 World Cup 2012 - Experiential sharing by K. R. Rajendra, CEO, CABI In the early 1980s one could Thus Blind cricket was quite popular even before the witness great zeal and first National Cricket Tournament for the blind held enthusiasm among lovely in Delhi. Most of the schools for visually impaired had visually impaired kids studying developed their own creative models of a cricket ball. in Shree Ramana Maharishi Some of the materials used for this purpose include Academy for the blind (SRMAB), balls made out of plastic and cork, tiny metal boxes, in South Bangalore. Cricket used balls made out of soda bottle caps – in short any to be an absolute obsession with them. They were material that could create sound and roll on the unstoppable! They all wanted to become ground was used to make cricket balls. The visually Tendulkars, Dravids, Gangulies and Kapil Devs. In impaired are great inventors after all. those days Television was not so common especially in institutions. So the children would have tiny In 1986 I had the privilege to take a team of 11 boys transistors hanging to their ears, listening and and girls to UK on a cultural exchange programme enjoying live cricket commentary on the radio. They from SRMAB as Team Manager. Mahantesh, General would scream with glee - Oh! Its a sixer! Or he is out! Secretary, CABI and Nagesh, President CABI were part of the team along with other boys and girls. World Cup was the most favorite and entertaining Even girls were taught cricket seriously to play event for all the boys in SRMAB. I would hear the little against English teams. I feel it was then itself that the transistors murmuring all through the night while inspiration to promote cricket for the blind had taking rounds in the night. This was especially so started as early as in 1986. The team played three with each groups of 3-4 boys who would be awake matches against various blind schools in England the whole night and come late for breakfast next and proved to be quite tough. They were able to morning. But the rule says no breakfast will be beat the English teams easily. The secret behind our served to those come late. These 3-4 boys would success probably was the amount of hard work the forego even their breakfast but not World Cup students used to put in starting at 5 in the morning commentary. till 9 in the night, studying, practicing and training. The most favorite pastime on Saturdays and It was in 1986 during the visit that we purchased first Sundays would be playing “Dabba Cricket” – playing ever English cricket balls made out of rubber with cricket using metal or plastic “dabbas” (containers) symmetric holes and large sized jingle bells within as the ball, wooden sticks as bats in the cemented from the Royal National Institute for the Blind in corridors of the school. Hitting 4s and 6s was quite London. It was also at this time that the first formal common within the tiny little corridors. The thrill, cricket team of SRMAB students was formed in excitement and enjoyment were a sight to see! The Karnataka. Mahantesh was the best strategist satisfaction of playing cricket – most popular game among all and was obvious choice to lead the team in the country would be unparalleled. as Captain. The English ball was not sturdy enough16
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  • 19. to withstand the powerful strokes of the Karnataka none other than EAS Prasanna himself. Under his team and could not be used for more than 3 days. able leadership and the auspices of Samarthanam Then came the white hard plastic ball created by several blind cricketers of India have been nurtured NIVH (National Institute for Visually Handicapped), and promoted. But for such efforts by this great Dehradun which has proved its strength over a organisation a number of talented blind cricketers good time period. would have been lost caught in the struggle of earning daily bread. I would join the boys for practice every day 5PM onwards and encourage them to play in the play Our efforts to make this a reality: ground in front of the school. At that time I was the Mahantesh, Nagesh and I along with the committed Secretary and we kept up the routine in spite of some team of Samarthanam have not taken a single days hurdles. We failed to keep track of the number of break over the past six months trying to make this glasses and window panes that were broken during dream a reality. Innumerable trips have been made the practice sessions. to various Metros in India and several corporate bodies were contacted seeking funds to organize Mahantesh and Nagesh showed tremendous the tournament. Though corporate bodies and potential and marvelous display of all rounder organisations from the private sector proved to be a capabilities as cricketers during the first National huge disappointment in this direction, the only Cricket Tournament in 1990 in Delhi and second reason this event was successfully organized was formal Blind Cricket National tournament was held because of the tremendous and unconditional in 1991 in Bangalore called Broke Bond Cup. They support we received from Government and PSUs. displayed exceptional skills in bowling, batting and Our special thanks and gratitude is due to State Bank fielding. This zeal and passion for cricket among the of India for coming forth to be the title sponsors for two in my opinion has resulted in formation of the the event with minimum expectations - heartfelt Cricket Association for the Blind in India and thanks and kudos to Government, PSUs and SBI for organizing first ever T20 World cup which has their unwavering faith and support in the event. It concluded with flying colors today the 13th was also disheartening to note that BCCI was not December 2012. very forthcoming in supporting this cricketing event in spite of several personal contacts within the body George Abrahams leadership, vision, strength and and approaches made to them. It is very sad that we enthusiasm for cricket resulted in the formalization failed to move them even an inch and convince of the Blind cricket in India and the first ever world them to provide at least moral support for the event cup for Blind was organized in 1990. It is under his if not financial. What has been very heartening is the leadership that three World cups tournaments were overwhelming response and support that the event organized between 1990 and 2007. It was his received from the Media before and during the determination and focus on the game that really tournament and we hope Samarthanam and CABI gave birth to nearly 150 recognized teams across will continue to receive similar support after the India. Kudos to my great friend George Abraham! event as well. In 2012, this mantle, of taking the blind cricket in India to further and farther heights, has been passed Vision 2015 on to the capable hands of Mahantesh and Nagesh Our earnest efforts would be to continue (Team, Samarthanam Trust for the Disabled). Today negotiating with BCCI and ICC to promote and own CABI is in capable hands and has started with a bang the T20 World Blind Cricket and organize routine bringing so many teams from nine countries in the world cups consequent to international Womens world to India and organizing the first ever T20 Cricket World Cup. While hoping for this dream to World Cup tournament. come true I am reminded of my teachers words who used to say dream, dream and dream about what Transformation beyond imagination you want to achieve and you would reach your goal I have formally returned to the world of Blind cricket faster! after almost a decade of working with various I would like to conclude this experiential sharing on international agencies expanding disability a positive note that every blind Indian cricketer in programmes in South Asian countries and to my the tournament would receive employment in utter amazement I see a great transformation in the either government department, PSU or corporate game which is beyond imagination. Hitting 4s and body in recognition of their participation in the T20 6s has become a routine. But what amazes me is to World Cup tournament. The fact is that most of the see fielders running across field to take catches blind cricketers in India belong to the lower which has changed mindset to Blind cricket. Players economic strata and are economically very poor. But like Prakash, Shekhar and Reddy have taken the their passion and spirit for cricket is extremely rich! game to newer heights of challenge and passion. However, my favorite batsman remains to be Rajendra K R Mahesh who was the most stylish batsman I have CEO, Cricket Association for the Blind in India ever seen and was appreciated and admired by (CABI)18
  • 20. MESSAGE FROM BRAND AMBASSADOR, SOURAV GANGULY It gives me great pleasure to be a part of this special World Cup encouraging people to start thinking differently, to spread the message that everybody irrespective of their abilities should have a chance of proving themselves. I wish these young passionate cricketers all the best and hope they succeed in bringing the World Cup home and want them to know the nation will be cheering for them. MESSAGE FROM SECRETARY GENERAL, WORLD BLIND CRICKET COUNCIL (WBCC) Dear readers and friends of cricket. The World Blind Cricket Council is about to embark on the staging of the first T-20 World Cup Cricket for the Blind. It is indeed a great moment for which thanks must be expressed to the hosting nation and organization. This event comes after a break of six years since the Blind cricketers from around the world last met in competition, the third Cricket World Cup for the blind in Pakistan which host country then Pakistan won. Since our last coming together, we have seen some strides made in the development of the game in several countries around the world. We have also seen an increase in the membership of the World Blind Cricket Council, with the addition of Bangladesh and Nepal who are not only members but have teams participating in this event. I wish to acknowledge the contributions made by the founding fathers of the association since inception in 1996 to the present and to the country India and the local cricket organization for once again creating history, for it was here that WBCC was launched and it was again India where the first World Cup Cricket for the Blind was held in 1998 and now we have seen another milestone where the first T-20 Cricket for the Blind is taking place. Blind and visually impaired persons around the world have followed their conventional cricket teams thanks to radio in the beginning and now having the opportunity to play the game themselves with some minor modifications have helped such individuals to be empowered in more ways than perhaps dreamt of. In closing, I wish to extend best wishes to the tournament organizers, the players and officials from the participating teams and the executive members of the World Blind Cricket Council for a successful tournament and a bright future for Blind Cricket around the world. Bhawani Persad, Secretary General, World Blind Cricket Council.
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  • 24. MESSAGE FROM THE INDIAN BLIND CRICKET TEAM The Indian squad comprises seventeen very skillful, hardworking, committed players, all of whom are passionate about cricket and nurture the ambition of lifting the world cup. The players are ably guided by their coach, who though an experienced cricket coach, was new to blind cricket but worked hard and interacted with experts. The coach soon mastered the rules, nature and technique of the game and came up with a clear plan of action. Various aspects such as fitness, fielding, running between the wickets, catch practice, batting styles and match practice were worked on. Above all was the building of self confidence - motivating the team to believe in themselves, that they can beat any team and eventually become the world champions. The strength of the team is in the fact that there are many all-rounders and all of them were willing to learn, and better themselves. The players responded greatly, reciprocated the lessons learned in match situations and played with confidence and determination. The Indian team travelled to Pakistan for a series, and played another bilateral series against Pakistan at Chennai, India. Several members of Team India came forward to support the blind cricket team. The players picked up tips from seasoned players like Gautam Gambhir. The team is thankful to CABI and Samarthanam for this life-changing opportunity to build on their talent, and participate in the biggest of all events. Having gained so much in experience with all the exposure, the team hopes to do their best in the World Cup. MESSAGE FROM BLIND CRICKET SOUTH AFRICA Blind Cricket South Africa (BCSA) became an affiliate to WBCC in 1997. During 1997 and 1998, the game of Blind Cricket was introduced in Cape Town (Western Province), Gauteng and Northern Gauteng. In December 1998 a South African team, selected from a relatively small group of 100 players, travelled to India to participate in the first 40 Over World Cup - a fledgling team that faced their more experienced opponents from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Australia, New Zealand and England. South Africa astounded the World when they emerged victors - a stunning unbeaten opening partnership of 376 from brothers Rory and Scott Field saw South Africa lift the inaugural cricket World Cup for the blind, beating Pakistan. Such victory served to generate a new found fervor in the sport inspiring blind enthusiasts across South Africa; and as a catalyst for BCSA to further develop blind cricket in the country. Late in 1998, the game was introduced to KwaZulu Natal who then participated in the development league of the National Tournament in Gauteng, organized by BCSA in 1999. BCSA has since then played a significant role in creating a conducive environment for blind cricket development in South Africa through the provision of essential support to its Provincial Affiliates and facilitation of annual National tournaments. BCSAs participation in the second World Cup in 2002 again highlighted the comeptitiveness of South Africa who ended runners up to Pakistan. BCSA is once again instrumental in getting Team SA to the Blind Cricket T/20 World Cup which in Bangalore, India 2012. BCSA is also an affiliate to the Cricket South Africa (CSA), the cricket governing body within South Africa and continues to build on its relationship within mainstream cricket promoting the inclusion and integration of blind cricketers in all cricketing activities in South Africa. Blind Cricket South Africa sends its greetings to all cricket playing nations and thanks Cricket Association for the Blind India (CABI) and Samarthanam Trust for the Disabled for honoring all blind cricketers through hosting this wonderful tournament and wishes them well. The Council and Executive Blind Cricket South Africa
  • 25. MESSAGE FROM BLIND CRICKET AUSTRALIA Blind Cricket in Australia has a long and proud history dating back to its inception in 1922. Australia has around 200 Blind cricketers playing, with our National Championships being held every two years. Developing the game across the Country has been a focus over the last couple of years. The lead up to the inaugural T20 Blind Cricket World Cup has been a busy one for the Australian squad. The lead up commenced with the playing of the bi-annual National Championships in early January 2012 followed by a National Squad Training Camp over three days. A further training camp was held in Melbourne in March 2012 as the squad prepared for a series against England played in the UK. Australia won the series winning all three games in a tough contest. After returning home from the Ashes series, the focus and attention was directed towards the T20 Blind Cricket World Cup. A further training camp was held in Brisbane in August 2012, finalizing the squad. All players have since been training hard to ensure they are ready for the challenges offered by the T20 World Cup. We look forward to a great competition in the inaugural T20 Blind Cricket World Cup to be held in Bangalore India 1 December to 13 December 2012.Our participation is only possible through the support of Brien Holden Vision Institute, Blind Sporting Council, Lords Taverners of Australia and Cricket Australia. MESSAGE FROM ENGLISH CRICKET BOARD In 2011 England didnt play an international series, instead a development programme was run to find and develop new talent, this was followed by the Ashes & T20 series v Australia in summer 2012. All of this has brought a number of new players into the England set-up ready for today, ready to take on the world, ready to bring home The World Cup! After finishing third at all three previous World Cups this young hungry England squad captained by Luke Sugg have spent the past six months working hard to build on the positives from the Ashes series. Whether its been hours spent working on bowling accuracy, fitness work or fielding drills the sides coach Chris Porter has developed and improved his players, hopefully in to a team who can seriously challenge for the trophy. All the above would not happen without the support of the ECB. In fact a major success of the recent Ashes Series was the illustration of the organisational partnership between BCEW & the ECB which was much admired by our visitors. This is down to the combination of the professional /financial support from the ECB led by Ian Martin & the voluntary dedication of BCEW led by Dave Townley. As well as doing their best to return home with the trophy the whole England squad will be playing for the memory of their much missed team mate Heindrich Swanepoel who passed away in early October. England Squad B1s: Amit Amin, Peter Blueitt, Dave Gavrilovic, Hassan Khan, Mahomed Khatri B2s: Rob Comber, Gavin Dean, Matt Dean, Ryan Jones, Matt Page B3s: Dan Field, Justin Hollingsworth, Jimmy Millard, Andy Powers, Dave Powers, Luke Sugg Management: Chris Porter, Bobby Denning, Martin Dean, Fran Clarkson, Ian Martin, Peter Sugg24