Oscar Pistorius, popularly known as the ’Blade Runner’ is one of the premier athletes who has participated in the Paralympics. He has rightly said, “You’re not disabled by the disabilities you have, you are able by the abilities you have.” Sports for the disabled and visually impaired have gained rapid popularity over the last couple of decades. One such sport which has become extremely popular worldwide is cricket. Blind cricket is a very popular sport these days. In several countries, including India, Pakistan, South Africa, Australia etc. councils and committees for blind cricket have been set up. Apart from the World Cups, tournaments within each country are also being played.
I believe that is a truly great and empowering platform for those who are disabled. In our society, more often than not, people with disabilities are not considered equal to people without disabilities and are often outcasts. The creation of such platforms enables them to be given an opportunity to chase their dreams. This is because, for most of these people, cricket is everything. This enables building their character and teaching them values in sports- leadership, sportsman spirit, makes them mentally tougher.
It also helps in raising awareness and gives other people disabilities some hope- this is because they see that people just like them have gone out there and achieved their goals. They become motivated to try and reach their goals too.
When I interviewed some cricketers, I could see the passion with which they spoke about the game and the fact that sports were on top of their priority list. Enabling people with disabilities to achieve their goals will lead to progress and development in the future.