Dilmah to support Blind Cricketers for World Cup - 2018 | Sunday Observer

Dilmah to support Blind Cricketers for World Cup - 2018

Sri Lankan Blind Cricketers are to be supported by Dilmah and its MJF Charitable Foundation to continue its support its development. This organization has come forward as the primary sponsor for the National Blind Cricket team participating in the Blind Cricket World Cup to be held in Dubai from the 7th to the 25th of January 2018.

The 5th such World Cup for the visually impaired is being organized by the Pakistan Blind Cricket Council with matches to be held in Ajman (UAE) and the final is to be played in Pakistan.

Led by Captain Deshapriya, a team of 16 players and 4 officials have been selected and will represent Sri Lanka in the tournament. Other countries participating include Australia, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and Nepal. This is Nepal’s first appearance in the tournament.

Dilmah has supported Blind Cricket in Sri Lanka since 2005, in keeping with its Founder Merrill J. Fernando’s philosophy of making business a matter of human service. It also sponsors the annual Dilmah Challenge Trophy - a national Blind Cricket Tournament to facilitate social inclusion of the visually impaired and promote sports for People with Disabilities. In partnership with the Sri Lanka Cricket Association for the Visually Handicapped the 6th Dilmah Challenge Trophy for Blind National Cricket Tournament was conducted from June 3 to August 18 2017. Eleven teams from the armed forces with a passion for cricket showcased their talents at this tournament.

Through this tournament best players were selected for the National Blind Cricket Team to represent at the Blind Cricket World Cup.Past tournaments have produced players who have placed Sri Lanka in the international limelight with their landmark achievements. Some of the milestones included defeating England at an international tournament for the first time in the history of blind cricket during the Second World Cup in Chennai in 2002.

At this match a Lankan Blind cricketer won the ‘Man of the Match’ award. Our team was third in the world cricket rankings during the world’s first international 20/20 blind cricket series held in India in 2012, I.P. Saman Kumara becoming the Best Bowler during the fourth World Cup in South Africa in 2014. Suranga Sampath set a world record with five Centuries in 5 innings with an unbeaten century in the World’s 20/20 International Blind Cricket Series held in India in 2017.

The history of Blind Cricket in Sri Lanka dates back to 1952 with the first match being played with the participation of the then Prime Minister D. S. Senanayake. The development of the sport happened gradually from there onwards.