Monday, April 18, 2011

Cricket for the Blind

This is a little tidbit I meant to post about a few weeks ago when my brother first left.

After hugging my brother goodbye at the airport, I took the ZR van along the South coast back towards home. After about 10 minutes, a young girl about 12 years old, dressed in a blue t-shirt and shorts, climbed carefully into the van with her oddly-shaped bag. As she made her way to the back of the van, her mother spoke diligently with the driver, directing him to escort the girl somewhere I was not familiar with when they arrived at the terminal. I thought perhaps the two knew each other and that the girl was heading to a friend's house. But upon catching a glimpse of the printing on the t-shirt and the difficulty she was having to make her way to the back empty seats, I realized that this girl is blind. And that inside this bag was her cricket equipment. Immediately intrigued, I looked up the game when I arrived back home - it looks like a really big deal in India and the UK. Each time fields 11 players, as 20/20 goes, of which a certain number have to be legally blind, while the other players can be visually impaired. The ball emits a noise making it possible to hit even without seeing it. Along with a few other changes, visually impaired children and adults can play the same sports at a higher level.

Cricket in Barbados, and in the West Indies in general, is a phenomenon. I will not go as far to say that it is akin to Football in South America, however with the UK legacy in the region, it is still incredibly popular. For someone whose mom has worked at Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind for the past 10 years, I am really interested in watching a game! I'll let you know how it goes.

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