New Delhi: After winning the Blind Cricket World Cup for India, players have asked the Ministry of Sports to give recognition to the Cricket Association for the Blind in India (CABI). The Indian team arrived home on Monday after defeating Pakistan by two wickets to lift their second Blind Cricket World Cup title in Sharjah. They said that though they have earned fame for the country, they have not got recognition or attention The Indian blind cricket team was formed in 1998 and is currently being managed by the Cricket Association for the Blind in India (CABI), an independent entity backed by the Samarthanam Trust, a non-profit organisation.

Mahantesh G K, president of CABI, told ANI, “The Cricket Association for the Blind in India (CABI) should be recognised by the Ministry of Sports. Our sports minister, Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, had no basic courtesy to come and meet us and wish us before we left [for the UAE]. I hope now he will answer with recognition.” He added, “Our boys are really disappointed with his attitude. He being a sportsman should recognise this. Many countries mainstream board have recognised blind cricket and are supporting it. Similarly, Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) should also do it. They have done their little, but permanent recognition is important.”

“I don’t know what else they want from our boys. We have consistently won four World Cups- two T20s and two ODIs and one Asia Championship in less than 59 months,” Mahantesh lamented. India won the first T20 Blind World Cup in 2012. In 2014, they won the ODI World Cup in Cape Town, becoming the only team to achieve titles in both formats, and the Asian Championship in blind cricket.

Mahantesh said, “How long can CABI continue through Samarthanam, I don’t know. If government recognises the board, their support will be permanent. BCCI recognition will help us get stadiums and other facilities. More blind players will get chance then. Cricket can transform their lives. Awards, cash prizes could be given to them and it will help them to come up in their life. He added that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is a big supporter of the team and meanwhile thanked everyone for their support.

Mahantesh concluded by saying that he wants to dedicate the World Cup victory to Indian soldiers fighting on borders.