Download Being a blind Nepalese woman usually means you are very limited in what you can do in life.
But now there is the option of becoming national cricket player in the world’s first blind female cricket team.
Sunil Neupane went to visit the team during a training session in Kathmandu.
24 years old Sunita Ghimire is waiting her turn to bat.
What she and her team mates are doing is making history.
“There is no other any cricket team for blind women in any countries except ours. So our team is the world's first. Our association is trying to register our team in the Guinness Book of World’s Records.”
She has been blind since birth.
Cricket is hugely popular in Nepal and her family encouraged her to get involved.
“My family, especially my sister told me get involved in blind cricket. She inspired me to play. My neighbors and relatives also encouraged me. When I started playing cricket, people's attitude towards me changed.”
Blind cricket first came to Nepal in 2006 when two Pakistani blind cricket coaches ran some training camps.
Pawan Ghimire was one of the first blind players.
He lost his eye from a landmine while serving in the Nepalese army during the civil war and is now the Chairman of the Cricket Association of the Blind in Nepal.
“Before I became blind I used to watch cricket all the time. I was a true cricket lover. But I had never played. It’s only after I went blind that I started to play. Now you can call me a cricket addict. Now all I do is think about cricket!”
In 2007 Pawan and his team formed a blind women’s team.
“Of course the women cricket team that we have in Nepal is the first cricket team in the world and it has acknowledge by the world blind cricket council also which is our umbrella organization.”
Q- Why did you think to form a team of women?
“If opportunity is being given, blind women can play actively like a boy, then why not to form a separate women cricket team? And why not make a good start in the world? This can be very inspiring and motivating for others. And their involvement in cricket can also be a tool of rehabilitation and a way for a blind girl come out from their house.”
There are now around 100 female blind cricket players in Nepal.
20-year old Chandika Timilsina is having a tea at her sister’s house in Kathmandu.
She lost her eyesight when she was seven years old after a severe fever.
“It was never my dream to become a cricketer but when I came to Kathmandu, my sister took me to a hostel for disabled people. Then I joined cricket team and started playing. When I walked onto the ground for the first time I was very confused about how we were going to play because we were all blind! But after a while I got use to the sound of the cricket ball and I could play by listening to the sounds.”
The main difference between standard Cricket and Blind Cricket is the ball.
A size three football is used and it’s filled with ball bearings so that the players can hear it.
The wicket is also wider and the ball must hit the ground at least twice before it reaches the blind Batsman.
Chandika is one of Nepal’s best blind bowlers.
“People use to treat me as a second class person. But now they treat me differently. So I'm not only playing cricket for entertainment but also to develop my personality. Cricket has become a major part of my life.”
There are now five regional female blind cricket teams in Nepal.
Last year they held the first national tournament and are keen to play an international match but no other country has a blind female team yet.
Chandika’s sister Anita says cricket has changed her life.
“Cricket has made her so much more confident. The first time I watching her playing I couldn’t believe my eyes. I can't express in words the feeling of happiness I had that day!”
1) bat: memukul bola
2) register: mendaftar
3) involved: terlibat
4) cricket addict: pecandu olahraga kriket
5) acknowledged: mengakui
6) severe fever : demam yang parah
7) limited: terbatas
8) eyesight: pengelihatan
9) bowlers: pelempar bola
10) personality: kepribadian
01) Which country has the only blind female cricket team in the world and how did the training start there?
02) How many blind female cricket players are there in that country and in what year was it formed?
03) Who is Chandika Timilsina and what happened to her when she was 7 years old?
04) How do these blind players play cricket and how different is to the standard version?
05) What were the lives of the players like before and after they played this sport?