Cricket as a sport has reportedly been played by the blind since the 1920s but it underwent major developments during the last two decades. It is a version of cricket suitably adapted for the blind. The team consists of both blind and partially sighted players and verbal signals are widely used both by the umpires as well as the players. Today it is being played in many countries.
For the purpose of promoting and administering this sport globally, the World Blind Cricket Council (WBCC) was established in 1996. George Abraham, a Freelance Consultant promoting communication skills development among visually impaired, was the founding Chairman of WBCC. Visually impaired himself, George Abraham was inspired by the blind persons playing cricket at National Institute for the Visually Handicapped, Dehra Dun (India). WBCC has 10 full members namely Australia, Bangladesh, England, India, Nepal, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka and West Indies.
So far three Blind Cricket World Cups have been organised.
- At New Delhi (India) in 1998 – South Africa defeated Pakistan in the final
- At Chennai (India) in 2004 – Pakistan defeated South Africa in the final
- At Islamabad (Pakistan) in 2006 – Pakistan defeated India in the final
- The fourth World Cup is scheduled for 2011
As a whole the cricket for the blind is not only seen as an empowering game for them but as an eye opener for the sighted for getting insight into the potentials of the visually impaired.