The Cricket Association for the Blind in India (CABI) has announced the captains for the Indian Blind Cricket teams, both men and women, who will represent the country in the upcoming IBSA World Games 2023 in Birmingham. Ajay Kumar Reddy Illuri (B2 Category) has been named the captain of the men’s cricket team, with Venkateswara Rao Dunna (B2 Category) as his deputy. Both players are from Andhra Pradesh. For the women’s cricket team, Varsha Umapathi (B1 Category) from Karnataka will lead as captain, and Phula Saren (B3 Category) from Odisha has been appointed as the vice-captain.

The jerseys for both the men’s and women’s teams were also unveiled by the Cricket Association for the Blind in India (CABI) in anticipation of their debut in the IBSA World Games 2023.

The IBSA World Games are scheduled to take place from August 18 to August 27, marking the first inclusion of blind cricket in this international event. The Indian men’s team is set to arrive in Birmingham on August 14, followed by a celebration of India’s Independence Day on August 15. The team will engage in a practice match on the same day. The Indian women’s team is scheduled to arrive on August 17.

Speaking on the announcement ahead of World Games, Mr Buse Gowda, President, Cricket Association for the Blind in India (CABI) stated, “I am happy and humbled to address my first Press Conference as a president as Indian Women’s and Men’s Cricket Teams are traveling to Birmingham to take part in the IBSA World Games. We are grateful to IBSA for including Cricket for the Blind for the first time in the World Games. This is the best opportunity to the players to represent the country and continue to be the World Champions.” 

The Chairman of CABI, Dr. Mahantesh G Kivadasannavar, highlighted the significance of the upcoming IBSA World Games as the first tournament featuring both Men’s and Women’s Blind Cricket Teams. He expressed the collective aspiration for both teams to uphold India’s sporting excellence, noting the Indian Men’s team’s impressive track record, including winning 3 T20 World Cups, 2 ODI World Cups, and an Asia Cup in the past decade. Ms. Varsha U, Captain of the Indian Women’s Cricket Team, expressed gratitude for the opportunity to lead the team in this historic championship. Mr. Ajay Kumar Reddy, Captain of the Indian Men’s Cricket Team, shared insights into their tournament preparation and the team’s enthusiasm for competing on the global stage at the IBSA World Games in Birmingham.

Both teams will kick off their campaigns on August 20. The Indian men’s team will face Pakistan in a thrilling match, while the Indian women’s team will take on Australia to begin their campaign in the IBSA World Games 2023. This historic event not only showcases the talent and dedication of visually impaired cricketers but also underscores the spirit of inclusivity and diversity in sports.


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