New Delhi, Nov 21 (IANS) The inaugural Twenty20 Blind Cricket World Cup is set to be held in Bangalore Dec 1−13, the organisers announced here Wednesday.
Nine countries − Australia, Bangladesh, England, Pakistan, South Africa, the West Indies, Sri Lanka, Nepal and hosts India − will have visually impaired players participating in the tournament. New Zealand, who had earlier confirmed their participation, backed out at the last moment due to funding issues.
The tournament is being organised by non−government organisation (NGO) Samarthanam Trust for the Disabled and the Cricket Association for the Blind in India (CABI). The World Blind Cricket Council (WBCC) conferred the hosting rights to India in May 2011.
The tournament to be played on a league−cum−knockout basis will have a total of 39 matches which will be played with balls having jingling bells.
Former cricket captain of India Sourav Ganguly has been named the brand ambassador of the event and the organisers have also approached the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for oo−objection certificates (NOC) to make Yuvraj Singh and Harbhajan Singh as the brand ambassadors.
The organisers also approached the BCCI in March for recognising and patronising the event. However, the response has not been in the affirmative.
"We approached the BCCI to recognise the tournament and extend their support but we still have not got a proper reply. They said they will see and explore the options and let us know. We are still hopeful that they will extend their support to us," said S.P. Mahantesh, president of CABI.
The opening ceremony of the tournament will take place at the M. Chinaswamy Stadium of the Karnataka State Cricket Association.
The 17−man India squad are already attending the coaching camp in Bangalore. The foreign teams will start coming in from Nov 27.