ARMAND BAM: South Africa is ready to host blind cricket.

Barbara Maregele

BLIND Cricket SA is determined to not let curve balls (to mix a metaphor) stand in their way of hosting the T20 Blind World Cup for the first time in 2015.

Since its inception in 1998, the event has been hosted by India thrice and once in Islamabad, Pakistan.

The national squad comprises blind and visually impaired players from the Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Free State, Gauteng and Limpopo. The team have three categories, B1 for blind players who can only tell the difference between light and dark, B2 for partially blind players who can only see objects 2m away, and B3 for partially sighted players who can see objects 6m away.

While they were not front runners at the recent tournament held in Bangalore, India last week, they were determined to bounce back and “show the world what they (are) made of,” coach and national co-ordinator Armand Bam said.

Defending champions, India, along with nine additional countries were expected to participate, he said.

But it was Cape Town that would be in the spotlight.

“The team may not have done that well this year, but they took it as a learning curve. It was a big honour when we won the nominations to host the World Cup. Nominations for the event went out in 2010 because there was a need to move the tournament out of India. It was between South Africa and India and we decided we wanted to take on the challenge,” Bam said.

Getting major sponsorships remained one of their biggest challenges in gearing up to be the hosts. “To pull-off a spectacular event, we will need at least R10 million. Hosting the World Cup has added a sense of motivation for our players to train and learn,” he said.

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