Karnataka's Shekar to lead India

Karnataka's Shekar to lead India

 Karnataka’s Shekar Naik has been named the captain of the 17-member Indian squad that will take part in the fourth 40-over Cricket World Cup of the Blind from November 26-December 9 in Cape Town, South Africa.  

The team was announced here on Friday by the Cricket Association for the Blind in India (CABI). India will open their campaign against arch-rivals Pakistan on November 27. Apart from the skipper, the squad includes two more players from Karnataka, Prakash J and Veeresh. 

“The T20 World Cup triumph has given us a lot of confidence and we hope to finish champions in the 50-over World Cup,” said the 28-year-old Shekar who has represented the national side since 2002. 

The squad includes players who fall under three different blind categories-B1 (complete blindness), B2 (vision clarity up to 3-5 metres) and B3 (vision clarity up to 5-8 metres).  As per the tournament rules, each team will have to field four B1 and B3 category players and three B2 category players in their eleven. 

“We have a very balanced side and I feel we are firm favourites to lift the cup,” said John David, manager of the side. “Pakistan will be the team to beat since they are the defending champions.” Speaking about the consistent support required to develop blind cricket in India, David called for encouragement from State cricketers who have made it big in the Indian side. The team will head to Cuttack for a training camp from November 1-20 and land in Cape Town on November 25.

The squad: Shekar Naik (Kar, Captain), Prakash (Kar), Ramesh (TN), Deepak (Har), Durga Rao (AP), Vishnu (Ker), Madhu (Tel), Ajay K Reddy (AP, Vice-captain), Venkatesh (AP), Farhan (Ker), Ganesh Muhudkar (Guj), Ketan Patel (Guj), Md Jafar (Odi), Amol K (Mah), Golu Kunar (Jhar), Tijendar Pal (Pun), Veeresh (Kar). Manager: John David. Coach: Patrick Rajkumar. Umpire: S Muralidhara