Australia's special cricketers visiting India

Australia's speech and hearing impaired cricket team is currently in India to participate in the World Cup of Deaf Cricket.

Updated: February 25, 2007 10:53 IST
  • Total Shares
New Delhi:Australia's speech and hearing impaired cricket team is currently in India to participate in the World Cup of Deaf Cricket. As part of their preparations, the defending champions arrived in India a week before the start of the tournament to get acclimatized to the local conditions. "It is a huge difference in comparison to Australia. We have hard wickets suitable for fast bowlers. As soon as we got here, we knew conditions are perfect for the spinners," said John Webb, coach. Scorers nightmare Queenslander Andrew Watkins, also the skipper of the team, has other concerns though. His twin brother Nicholas is the wicket-keeper and when they bat together, they are a scorer's ultimate nightmare! "It feels great. A lot of people get us mixed up which is quite humourous. The scorers, trying to work out who is getting four, always make a mistake because we do look quite alike," said Andrew. Australia has about 300 deaf and mute cricketers and quite remarkably almost 80 per cent of them play for, what they refer to as, hearing clubs. Cricketers at these clubs are not similarly disabled and can hear. Talented youngsters Some of these youngsters, like 24-year-old fast bowler Kiym Daley, are also talented enough to play for their state side. "I have reached the level of New South Wales blue squad and have been given a chance to achieve my dream. I was lucky to train with McGrath, Steve and Mark Waugh and Michael Slater. They all helped me and gave an opportunity to see that I can achieve different levels of cricket," said Daley. To do that players like Daley would require more support from Cricket Australia. The sport's governing body Down Under came in for some huge criticism from Deaf Cricket Australia recently for not providing enough funds and facilities to deaf players. In fact, things turned so bad that the visiting squad had to buy their own kit for the India tour.

For the latest Cricket news , Score, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and get the NDTV Cricket app for Android or iOS

Leave a comment