Sunil Ramesh rose to the occasion as he played a great knock of 93 to help India retain Blind Cricket World Cup title after beating arch-rivals Pakistan by two wickets in a thrilling final played at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium in UAE on Saturday.
Indian had previously won the title in 2014 after beating the same opponents at Cape Town, South Africa.
Chasing a huge 308-run target in 40 overs, India romped home in the penultimate over of the match. India started off their chase in a cracking manner racing to 111/1 after 15 overs but soon lost two quick wickets in the form of run-outs to be at 116/3 after 16th over.
Accolades poured in for the Indian team with Prime Minister Narendra Modi also congratulating the team for their achievement. “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!,” Modi wrote on his twitter handle.
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
The 2018 Blind Cricket World Cup
- The 2018 Blind Cricket World Cupwas the fifth Blind Cricket World Cup tournament, and was held from 8-20 January 2018 in Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates. In the final, defending champions India defeated Pakistan by 2 wickets to secure their 2nd Blind Cricket World Cup title. Six teams, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Australia and Nepal played in the tournament, with Nepal making their first ever appearance.
- India played all of their group stage matches of the tournament at neutral venues in the United Arab Emirates, after the foreign ministry of India blocked them from travelling to Pakistan. It was later revealed that the Cricket Association for the Blind in India and Pakistan Blind Cricket Council had agreed to shift the Indian matches to the UAE. Thus, only Nepal and Bangladesh were willing to play matches in Pakistan.
- Initially, Pakistan was selected as the main host nation to host the tournament, with the UAE later agreeing to host some of the matches. It was the first time that Pakistan had been selected to host the Blind Cricket World Cup since 2006, and the first time that the UAE had hosted games.
- Sharjah Cricket Stadium hosted the final between India and Pakistan on 20 January; prior to the World Cup, Pakistan had originally been selected to host the final. India and Pakistan are the only teams to play against each other in the finals of the Blind Cricket World Cup on three consecutive occasions.
- In the final, Pakistan batted first and managed to score 308/8 after being put into bat by India. India chased down the target of 309 with 16 balls to spare to clinch the title. India thus maintained their unbeaten record in the tournament