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South Africa’s Blind Cricketers Excel

The first day of the blind cricket national tournament saw some interesting and exceptionally good play by the Western Province Blind cricketers. WP posted 348/7(40overs) against Free State. Bongani Stofile, scored 158 and took 3 wickets for 39 runs.

The teams that could get points on the log were WP; Northern Gauteng and Boland. Boland beat Central Gauteng by 5 wickets with J Mbabane putting 54 on the score board. Teams yet to post on the log are: Cnetral Gauteng; Free State and KZN.

The matches were played in extremely hot weather taxing the physical endurance of the blind cricketers. The searing heat was equalled by the warm compassion for the game of cricket. It is a sight to behold.

The results for the day: WP vs Free State- WP 348/7 (40 overs), B Stofile 158, S Nama 2/52; Free State- 191/9 (40 overs), T Claasen 35, BStofile 3/39. WP won by 157 runs.
Northern Gauteng vs KZN – Northern Gauteng 270/7 (40 overs), M v d Linde 61, M Parmeshwar 1/40; KZN- 134/10 (27 overs) S Mandweni 25, E Mathapo 3/33;
Boland vs Central Gauteng – Gauteng 193/10 (37,2 overs), S Bidla 40, M Williams2/21; Boland 194/5 (30,4 overs ) JMbane 54 ?oland won by 5 wickets.

The tournament is played at Radloff Park Somerset West and will end on Saturday 12 April.

BLIND CRICKET NATIONAL TOURNAMENT IN CAPE TOWN

Blind cricketers from 6 provinces will converge on Cape Town to participate in the 2014 Blind Cricket National Tournament in Somerset West from 8-12 April 2014. The tournament attracts the best blind cricketers as it is also an opportunity for the national selectors to observe and select a national squad to represent South Africa in the Blind Cricket World Cup competition to be held in December 2014 in Cape Town.

“Understandably, competition will be stiff at this tournament as players will have their eyes on the ultimate prize, the honour to represent one’s country internationally” says Philip Bam, Tournamant Director.

Three 40-over matches will be played daily at Radloff Park, Somerset West. This is the first time a 40-over series is being played and this will be good practice for budding blind national players as the World Cup competition will use the same format.

The players are classified into three categories – totally blind (B1), partially blind (B2) and with partial vision (B3). The rules are based on the standard cricket laws as adapted by the World Blind Cricket Council. An audio plastic ball with small metal balls on the inside is used. The stumps are usually brightly coloured. How does the blind bowler know where to pitch? He asks for directions given by the wicket keeper and it is not uncommon for LBW’s to be given and batsmen to be clean bowled. One of the totally blind players who scored a century in the last World Cup will also be participating for Northern Gauteng.

The tournament is hosted by Western Province Blind Cricket Association in partnership with the City of Cape Town and Western Province Cricket, CSA. A welcoming function will be held on Monday 7th April 2014 at 18:00 at the Charles Morkel Sports complex in the Strand. Presentation of medals and trophies will take place on the field after the last match on Saturday 12th April 2014.

This is a unique sport for visually impaired people affording them an opportunity to achieve accolades as well as showing the general public the abilities of blind people.