Team India successfully defended their Blind Cricket World Cup title by defeating arch-rivals Pakistan by two wickets in an exciting final at Sharjah on Saturday. Pakistan, batting first, scored 308 for eight in their allotted 40 overs as Badar Munir top scored with 57 while Riasat Khan and captain Nisar Ali chipped in with handy 48 and 47 runs respectively. In reply, India chased down the total in the 39th over of the game. India started brilliantly as Sunil Ramesh scored a magnificent 93 giving his team a solid platform to overhaul the total. India skipper Ajar Reddy also played a decisive knock of 63 which helped his team lift the coveted title for the second time. Following their win, Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, took to Twitter to express his heartfelt congratulations to the Indian team.
Congratulations to our cricket team for winning the 2018 Blind Cricket World Cup! They make the nation proud and inspire every Indian with their game as well as phenomenal attitude. True champions!— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) January 20, 2018
Apart from PM Modi, India Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee too extended their congratulations to the victorious team.
Congratulations to visually challenged Indian cricket team for winning World Cup cricket for the Blind. You made the nation proud and are an inspiration for all of us. pic.twitter.com/ItvrRHPQ2K— VicePresidentOfIndia (@VPSecretariat) January 20, 2018
Congratulations to visually impaired Indian cricket team for winning World Cup cricket for the Blind. We are all so proud.U inspire us all— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) January 20, 2018
The Reddy-led team, who remained unbeaten in the tournament, received 15000 AED as the prize money for winning the tournament.
Impressed with the win, veteran India spinner Harbhajan Singh and former India cricketer VVS Laxman also took to Twitter to congratulate the Indian team for beating Pakistan yet again in the finals comprehensively.
Congratulations to each and every member of the Indian team for winning the #BlindCricketWorldCup— VVS Laxman (@VVSLaxman281) January 20, 2018
Congratulations Team India! Thrilled to know our men in blue are unstoppable! More support, love & attention ought to be paid to this glorious team. https://t.co/AgyihAgG9Q— Mithali Raj (@M_Raj03) January 20, 2018
With this win, India joined Pakistan as the only two teams to have won the title twice. India had lost the final match in 2014 after beating the same opponents at Cape Town.
Following the win, the Consulate General of India, Dubai announced that the Consulate General of India will organise a felicitation program for the players and officials of Indian blind cricket team on 21 January in Consulate auditorium.