Cricketers of a different kind played with unbridled passion at the National Deaf Cricket Championship

The whole crowd was up on its feet the moment tennis star Sania Mirza walked into the Gymkhana Grounds even as the final of the inaugural National Deaf Cricket Championship was on. For, these cricketers of a different kind were up in joy greeting the two-time Grand Slam winner.

Clearly, giving an impression that they made their day for many were surging close to the dais to take a few snaps of Sania who was sharing some thoughts about the whole concept of deaf cricket with former India women cricket captain Purnima Rau.

No doubt, there were moments of triumph on the field too for the eventual winners Karnataka and despair for the losers Kerala. But everything else took a backseat once the final ended and the focus shifted on to the two stars.

By all means, the five-day event reflected the true spirit with which these cricketers who belong to their own world but play the sport with unbridled passion. Thanks to the initiative of K. Maurya, a CA student, with solid support from the Hyderabad Cricket Association, SAAP and sponsors like Ravi Madan of Indiana Sports and ex-Ranji cricketer Ashok Vir.

“This is a terrific gesture. The intensity with which they fought the final is amazing,” felt Sania, who watched most of the final in the company of Purnima.

For her part, Purnima even while appreciating the complete team effort in making the whole event such a grand success hoped that in future similar kind of events are held for the girls too.

Quick to respond to the mood of the gathering, Ravi Madan announced that for all future tournaments of deaf cricketers, he will sponsor the flannels for all the teams. “We feel it our moral obligation to help them out in a big way,” he said. S. Venkateshwaran, joint secretary of HCA, which took care of the technical side of the event by providing grounds, umpires, scorers, assured that HCA will always support events of this nature.

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