Women athletes have struggled to make their mark in sports, which is dominated by men. There are fewer opportunities and payoffs for the efforts they make. They have the potential to conquer the grounds just like men. The dilemma is whatever is known or gets coverage in the mainstream media is related to the men’s sports team. In recent years, however, the focus has shifted, and they have acknowledged women athletes for their contribution to the sports as well. We know that our Men’s Blind Team has made many records showing the world its talent. They have been runner-ups and champions of all the events that took place. Now, the Women’s Bind Cricket team is also in action. The historic tournament will take place in March, which would be a sight to see for cricket fans.
In the last few years, we have seen that they have presented women athletes with many opportunities, which is good news. Women have suffered a long way with no patronage, funding, or training. They affiliated the Pakistan Blind Cricket Council PBCC under the patronage of PCB with the World Blind Cricket Council. They set it to make its mark by providing the Women’s Blind Cricket Team with the right opportunity, and we couldn’t be happier than that.
The Men’s Blind Cricket has been there for over three decades, taking part in T20is and ODIs. They have had held many records:
- Champions of 2002, 2006 ODI World Cup
- Runners Up-1998, 2014 ODI World Cup
- Runners Up-2012, 2017 T20 World Cup
- Runners Up-2015 T20 Asia Cup
- 2017 Blind World T20: Highest-ever total in Blind T20I history and the highest ever Blind T20 World Cup 373/4 against the West Indies
- 2018 Blind Cricket World Cup: scored 563/4 against Australia
- The only team to qualify for the finals in every edition of the Blind Cricket World Cup
- Masood Jan scored 262 against South Africa in 1998
- Muhammad Akram set the highest individual score in a Blind T20I inning (264) made ever in the Blind T20 World cup
The Man Behind Women’s Blind Cricket In Pakistan
Sultan Shah is the man behind the Women’s Blind cricket in Pakistan. He has the honor of leading Pakistan to the final of the first-ever blind cricket World Cup in 1998. We know him for ‘giving the world the concept of cricket for visually impaired women.’ He has worked to bring women’s blind cricket to a national level. He is the brain behind ‘the idea of women’s blind cricket in 2017.’ It got associated with the Australian High Commission.
India, New Zealand, and South Africa followed the lead set by the Pakistan women’s blind cricket team. Now it is played across the world.
Challenges for the Women’s Blind Cricket Team
He said, “It was difficult to start women’s blind cricket. There were many challenges, such as getting permission from their parents, other social issues like girls like planning for their traveling, arranging a guide for girls, etc.”
Women Blind Cricket requires more funding than the normal cricket team, which includes special facilities, safe and calm environment, grounds close to their locality, etc. He stated, “PBCC will do whatever they can for women’s blind cricket.” Bringing male coaches on board has helped the players. “Currently, both men and women are on the coaching staff. They will also train the coaches under the supervision of international coaches in the upcoming tournament that is to be held in Islamabad.”
As a pioneer of women’s blind cricket in the country, he wishes to see the national team in the World International Blind Games 2023, which will take place in 2023. He said, “Blind men’s and women’s cricket are also included [in the event]. If we can form a strong team by then, Pakistan’s women’s blind cricket will also take part in the Games. But it will cost a lot of money, plan for boarding, accommodation, and travel yourself.”
He is confident about the women’s team. Just like their male counterparts, “Pakistan women blind players will also make a name for themselves in the world.”
According to Sultan Shah, “About 100 girls from all over the country came to the camp, and 100 girls is a big thing.” They set the training camps in Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Abbottabad, and Faisalabad for the event, which yielded an overwhelming response.
The first-ever blind cricket team tournament will take place in Islamabad from 8th-13th March. There would be four teams from Sindh, Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and Islamabad. They have to divide the team into three categories:
- B1- Totally Blind: 4 players
- B2-Partially Blind: 3 players
- B3-Partially Sighted: 4 players
They will play the tournament on a single league basis, followed by a final. They will play the league matches at Shalimar Ground in Islamabad, while National Cricket Ground will host the all-important F-7.
We hope to see more women showcasing their talent in sports.
PSL 7 is almost moving to the finals with its exciting and nail-biting performances that had glued the fans to the screens. Multan Sultan is leading the points table by 18 points along with Lahore Qalandars, securing 12 points.
The top four teams will play the plays offs, which include:
- Multan Sultans
- Lahore Qalandars
- Peshawar Zalmi
- Islamabad United
Qualifiers: Multan Sultans will face Lahore Qalandars on 23rd February to reach the finals.
1st Eliminator: Peshawar Zalmi vs Islamabad United on 24th February
2nd Eliminator: The winner of Eliminator 1 vs Qualifiers
The winner from these categories will meet on 27th February for the finals. Looking forward to seeing some last matches played in PSL 7.