By Shabbir Hussain
ISLAMABAD, Mar 13 (Diplomatic Star):Sindh downed Punjab by six wickets in the inaugural 1st National Championship of Blind Women Cricket here at the Bhutto Cricket Ground G-7 on Sunday.
Sindh won the toss and decided to bowl first in the morning. Punjab Blind Women Cricket Team set the competitive total of 171 runs in the allotted 15 overs for the loss of two wickets. Tayyaba Fatima played a splendid innings of 84 runs. Nisha was their second-highest run-getter with 36 runs. Laila BiBi took 1 wicket for Sindh.
Sindh in reply chased down the target of 172 runs in 14.5 overs for the loss of four wickets. Kiran Rafiq was the pick of the batters as she played a superb innings of unbeaten 78 runs while Nimra Rafiq made 24 runs. Nisha Bax and Faryal claimed a wicket apiece. Kiran was also declared player of the match.
Player of the tournaments included B1: Anila Shahzadi (KPK Blind Women Cricket Team); B2: Nimra Rafiq (Sindh Blind Women Cricket Team); B3: Mehwish Rafiq (Sindh Blind Women Cricket Team). Kiran Rafiq (Islamabad Blind Women Cricket Team) was declared Best Wicket Keeper.
Four provincial teams Sindh, Punjab, Islamabad, and KPK participated in this event which was funded by the Australian High Commission (AHC) in Pakistan in collaboration with the Pakistan Blind Cricket Council (PBCC) from March 8 to 13.
The training builds on Australia’s support to PBCC in the formation of Pakistan’s first blind women cricket team in 2018, which played its first international Twenty20 game in 2020.
Speaking at the award-giving ceremony at the conclusion of the training, Australian High Commission’s (AHC) Chargé d’Affaires, Bryce Hutchesson shared that Australia’s support aims to provide more women and girls with disabilities the opportunity to enjoy sport, compete and demonstrate their ability.
“Sport can help reduce gender stereotypes and negative perceptions associated with people with disabilities. Australia and Pakistan share a passion for cricket, so we are happy to support the Pakistan Blind Cricket Council’s efforts to bring women and girls living with disabilities into the sport,” he said.
Coaches Masood Jan and Abdul Razzak, who coached the national blind men’s team, helped these players push their boundaries.
Meanwhile, Director Marketing PBCC, Bilal Satti said, “Cricket for the blind is a highly competitive game which enables people with visual impairment to become people of vision a vision of an accessible future full of exciting opportunities for all.”
Hussain Adwani Marketing Manager Serena Hotel Islamabad, Madam Robina Akhter, Director Admin D.G.S.E, Dr Anwar Ali Sial Director Finance PBCC, Habibullah Khan Director Admin PBCC were also present on the occasion.