Travels across several major Indian cities, stops in luxurious hotels, four and five stars to be exact, playing in front of more than 20,000 spectators, celebrating to the sounds of cricketer/singer Dwayne Bravo’s Soca ballad; Champion.
It was indeed a “life changing experience” as described by Ganesh Singh, one of the Guyanese players who recently returned with the West Indies team from the World Cup for Blind and Visually Impaired cricketers.
Three Guyanese, Singh, Leroy Phillips and Kevin Douglas, were exceptional, returning several outstanding performances, despite the challenges they faced to get to the event in India.
B3 player (categorised as partially sighted), Douglas, who led the team in eight matches, was the Caribbean side’s best batsman, scoring two centuries and two half centuries, with a top score of 169 against New Zealand where he shared a double century partnership with Phillips (79).
His contribution led the West Indies team to three victories out of the nine matches they played.
Meanwhile, B1 players (categorised as totally blind) players Singh and Phillips contributed significantly to the team’s cause. Ending the tournament with six scalps and best figures of 3-39 against South Africa, Singh was his team’s best bowler, while Phillips was the best B1 player on show.
Singh, who for most part represented the players during talks with the media on Friday at the Institute for the Blind, said the occasion was excellent and life changing.
“It was an excellent experience, it was a life changing experience as I would put it because to go there and receive such hospitality and treatment was great,” said Singh.
He deemed the team’s performance as satisfactory because they did not have a camp prior to their departure to India. Singh also informed that their arrival in India was the first time they had met the other players for the West Indies team.
Playing in his second World Cup, Singh, said the Guyanese players were outstanding, especially since it was impossible to get turf practice for months due to rain.
In conclusion, the players said they were grateful for all the assistance they received from their fellow Guyanese; particularly Radesh Rameshwar of Kares Engineering Group, Times Media Group – Dr “Bobby” Ramroop, the National Sport Commission and Guyana Cricket Board.
India, who lost by seven wickets to Pakistan in the group stages, had sweet revenge in the final of the tournament as they prevailed by nine wickets. The next assignment for the local blind cricketers is a domestic organised tournament on Sunday at the Malteenos Sports Club Ground. (Guyana Times)