Shettar gives away cash award to Indian Blind Cricket team members

Shekhar Naik, Prakash Jayaramaiah and S. Ravi are sporting heroes, no doubt. The three cricketers from the State are part of the team that won the Blind Cricket Twenty20 World Cup recently against Pakistan. Yet, they were made to wait for more than an hour on Thursday by Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar, who gave away cash awards of Rs. 1 lakh each to the three sportspersons.

The government has also deposited Rs. 2 lakh each in the name of the three sportspersons. The government had initially assured them Rs. 5 lakh and a government job. Minister for Sports and Youth Services Appachu Ranjan told The Hindu that the government was still working on finding suitable employment for the three cricketers.

Interest shown

The recent victory of the Indian Blind Cricket team has generated a lot of interest in the activities of the Cricket Association for the Blind in India (CABI), which has its presence in 15 States in the country. According to Mahantesh G.K., general secretary of CABI, the number of enquiries about the association, the blind cricket team and other activities had more than doubled. “With this positive response, the CABI is now considering extending its presence in the country. In a year’s time, we hope to have affiliated clubs and associations in eight more States,” he said.

CABI president S.P. Nagesh opined that recognition by the BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) would further their efforts. “We met with BCCI chairperson N. Srinivasan recently and discussed with him the issue of recognition. He has assured us that he would raise the issue in the next Working Committee meeting of the BCCI.” Recognition by the BCCI would help the CABI in not just getting sponsors, but also in the sportspersons using BCCI’s infrastructure, coaches and umpires.