In an initiative to foster peace and harmony in Jammu and Kashmir, the Cricket Association for the Blind in India (CABI) plans to hold a friendly match in November there as a precursor to the T20 World Cup Cricket (for the blind) scheduled in January in the country.
The announcement was made on Friday by CABI President Mahantesh G K after the Indian blind cricket team, which has won several international tournaments, including the recent T-20 Asia Cup Tournament, was felicitated by the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, in New Delhi.
“I urge the Government of India to consider our proposal to organise a match in Jammu & Kashmir. We will organise the match at a place convenient to the J&K Government through its sports council. This match will be a huge morale booster for the youths of that state apart from expressing our solidarity with the Indian Armed Forces and the people of J&K,” Mahantesh said.
He said CABI will involve representatives of the government, Indian Armed Forces, people’s representatives and the youths of J&K in the cricket matches.
He also requested the government to monetarily support CABI in successfully hosting the World Cup in 2017, according to a CABI release.
CABI, which is organising the T20 World Cup Cricket for the blind, is a sports body of Bengaluru-based Samarthanam Trust For the Disabled, which has been working towards creating education and livelihood opportunities for persons with disabilities and from underserved communities.
Earlier, Thaawar Chand Gehlot, Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment, felicitated Ajay Reddy – Captain; Prakash Jayaramaiah – Wicket Keeper and Batsman; SonuGolkar – Wicket Keeper & Batsman and Team Manager John David and Mahantesh, President, CABI.
The Ministry also announced a cash reward of Rs 1.5 lakh to each of 17 the players and the squad, consisting of manager and coach, the release said.
Sports Minister Vijay Goel and Rao Inderjit Singh, Union Minister of State, Ministry of Planning, Ministry of Urban Development and Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation and President of Para Olympic Committee of India were also present on the occasion, it said.
Union Ministers Ramdas Athawale, Krishan Pal Gurjar and Vijay Sampla also greeted the players on the occasion, the release said.