Birmingham, Aug 26: In a momentous display of strength, perseverance, and sheer skill, the Indian blind cricket teams (both men's and women's) have made the nation proud by qualifying for the finals of the International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) World Games 2023 on the back of their scintillating show in Birmingham.
Being the only country to have both its men's and women's cricket teams in the final of the IBSA World Games, India has put blind cricket on the world map, setting an example of what grit and determination can do.
The challenges conquered by the blind cricket teams go beyond the boundaries of the cricket pitch. Each run scored and each wicket taken have been a result of relentless practice, hours of honing their senses, and sheer commitment to making the nation proud.
While the journey for the women's team to the final was a cakewalk in the IBSA World Games 2023, the Indian men's team had to fight hard at times to reach the finals.
India had lost the first match against Pakistan by 18 runs last week when the campaign began for the two teams in the ongoing tournament. However, the Men In Blue didn't lose hope as they came back hard at Australia to win the next match.
India defeated the hosts England by 7 wickets to win their second match of the tournament as the players displayed an all-round performance.
India's next match was with Bangladesh and the Men In Blue found themselves in a tricky position chasing 148 as the side lost half their side inside 6 overs for just 26 runs.
However, some brilliant batting performances from Nareshbhai Balubhai Tumda (28), Sunil Ramesh (20), and vice-captain Venkateswara Rao Dunna (30) helped India get close to the target.
In the end, Bangladesh were fined 26 penalty runs which eventually took India's score to 165/7 in 17 overs, helping the Men In Blue register a thrilling win.
India again met Bangladesh in the semis on Friday and this time the Men In Blue didn't waste a minute in dominating the Tigers before reaching the finals.
On the other hand in women's cricket, India won the game by 8 wickets against Australia to kick off their campaign in style. In the second match against England, India went all guns blazing and scored 268/2 in the allotted 20 overs with Gangavva H smashing 117 in 60 balls. England lost the match by 185 runs.
In the third match on Wednesday, India thrashed Australia by 163 runs to continue their dominant display of cricket.
As these two teams gear up for the finals, the nation awaits dual glory on Saturday. It's just not a final but a finale that is manifested after a lot of hard work.
Through their journey, the teams have shown that impossible is nothing and that sheer willpower and prowess can overcome any hurdle that comes across the journey of an athlete.
India's men's team will meet Pakistan on Saturday in the finals as the IBSA World Games get ready to witness its maiden summit clash in cricket while the women's team will face Australia. Both matches will be played on Saturday at Edgbaston Cricket Stadium.