THE current three-match tour by the United Kingdom's (UK) Pirates disabled cricket team to Jamaica is a positive move which everybody benefits, said Graham Glover, Deputy British High Commissioner to Jamaica.
"This is 'win win' for every one involved," Glover told the Observer on Tuesday, as both teams put on a demonstration on the lawns of the British High Commission on Trafalgar Road.
"This is about the development of young people... with disadvantages which most of us are fortunate not to have to endure. But the talent that you have seen here... shows just what people with all sorts of disabilities, whether it be visual, physical or whether learning difficulties, are able to do and it's inspiring," he noted.
Glover added: "The parents from the UK and local parents came out and that's what it's all about -- to get the kind of links that we're seeing here today between the Jamaican teams and the team from the UK. I mean that is going on all the time and it is equally important that we see it in this area as well.
"When you talk some of the persons from the UK, they will never forget and even the local players that played at Melbourne yesterday (Monday), it is the first time for them to be playing on an historic Jamaican cricketing venue and that meant a lot to them as well.
"We have to 'big up' the Chase organisation and Courtney Walsh for what they're doing here with a whole range of cricketing iniative in the UK and across Jamaica," said Glover, who went to the batting crease and failed to make impact swinging a ball from one of the physically-challenged cricketers.
In the two matches played so far in their three-match LIME Disability Cricket Twenty20 Series, the Jamaican Blind Cricket team has won both encounters.
In the first game on Sunday at Mona Hockey Field's astro-turf, the Jamaican Crusaders won by six wickets with Dennol Shim banging 113 not out, inclusive of 25 fours and a six in Jamaica's winning total of 209-4. Gregory Stewart contributed 50.
Earlier, the Pirates made 204-5 off their allotted 20 overs with Ryan Jones hitting 76 not out and Joel Robinson 50.
In the second match on Monday at Melbourne Oval, Jamaica's Crusader won easily by nine wickets with Gregory Stewart getting 38 not out.
Bethan Evans, cricket coach of the Pirates, said it was a tough series and her young team was beaten by a very good Jamaican team.
"We have unfortunately lost both games, which I am gutted about, but my team has done fantastically well and it is a very young team playing against a very experienced team which beat Australia not very long ago," she told the Observer.
She added: "It's a very good team we played against and to get 200 in the first game was fantastic and our effort in the second game was phenomenal as well."
However, there was better luck for the Pirates as they clinched the series 2-0 in the mixed disability team (physical and learning disability).
Blind cricket is a version of the sport of cricket adapted for blind and partially sighted players. So far, three Blind World Cups have been held in New Delhi, India (1998); Chennai, India (2002) and Islamabad, Pakistan (2006). The sport has been played since the 1920s.
The rules of blind cricket are based on the standard Laws of cricket with some essential modifications.
In terms of playing equipment, the major adaptation is the ball, which is significantly larger than a standard cricket ball and filled with ball bearings. The size allows partially sighted players to see the ball and the contents allow blind players to hear it.
The wicket (stumps) is also larger, to allow partially sighted players to see and blind players to touch it in order to correctly orient themselves when batting or bowling.
Various other modifications to the rules apply. Verbal signals are widely used both by umpires and players: in particular, the bowler must shout 'Play!' as he releases the ball.
The delivery is required to pitch at least twice when bowled to a completely blind batsman (once when bowled to a partially sighted batsman), but must not be rolling.
Totally blind batsmen cannot be out stumped, and must be found to be LBW twice before going out. Totally blind fielders are allowed to take a catch on the bounce.