'Being blind is not an obstacle'
As a child, playing cricket was quite a passion for Matthew, who always dreamt of representing Australia in the international arena in the sport. But fate chose to defer his dreams, as he shares with Metrolife.
“I always played cricket as a kid. When I was a teenager, my eyesight slowly deteriorated and I stopped playing for a while. It wasn’t until the age of 18 that I found out I was visually impaired,” recalls the captain. “When I was 23, I found out about blind cricket and that I could represent my country in it. It was the most exciting news for me and something I really wanted to achieve. That’s where this journey began,” he smiles.
For Matthew, the change from normal cricket to blind cricket has not been hard to adjust to. He notes, “Because I played cricket as a child, it was very easy to play blind cricket. I could already play the sport and bat and bowl properly and knew the intricacies of the game. I had the basic foundation there. The only difference was the ball.”
As an afterthought, he adds, “I used to play softball as a pitcher when I was a kid and so, the underarm bowling wasn’t tough either. Everything just worked out well for me because I think I had the perfect training.”
Surprisingly, he has come to terms with his condition very well. “I guess for me, it’s just about living everyday life. My eyesight deteriorated gradually and I didn’t even notice it coming. I just thought I needed glasses,” shares the 35-year-old.
Knowing his story, it’s inspiring to see the attitude he keeps towards the sport and life in general. “If you’re looking at me, my normal is different from your normal. For me, being blind is not an obstacle. When people ask me how I do it, I just answer saying ‘persistence’. If you believe in yourself, that’s half the work done,” he wraps up.