By Greg Potts
While the news that England were knocked out at the quarter final stage of another international tournament this week may not have come as a surprise to sports fans, many people may have been taken aback at the sport being played.
Blind and Visually Impaired (VI) Cricket has been played in this country since the 1940’s, but hasn’t had the same exposure as other VI sports.
The domestic game that you can get involved in and that we will introduce you to here has a few different rules to the one played at the T20 World Cup, but all are similar to red ball cricket that you may be familiar with.
Where can I play in London?
Metro Sports Blind Cricket Team, weekly training during season, Highgate Woods Cricket Nets
‘Learn VI Cricket at Lords’, 11 March and 08 April 2017, St John’s Wood, FREE
Hackney Hit the Top Cricket Club, Monday 3.30pm to 5.30pm, Stormont House School, FREE
Watch our handy video below to learn the different classifications for Blind Cricket!
Blind Cricket England and Wales (BCEW) rules state that the ball should be a white, size 3 Mitre ball with a ‘noise-making device’ such as ball bearings inside.
A clean ball is used at the start of each innings.
The stumps are slightly larger than those in red ball cricket, 10 inches wide and 35 inches tall and no bails are used.
Bowling is overarm although a B1 player may use any one-armed action that isn’t an underarm throw. B1 bowlers must also make up at least 3 in every 10 overs.
The rules for the bowler also change depending on the classification of the batter. When bowling to B1 or B2 (low partial) players the ball must bounce at least twice, but when bowling to any other player it only has to bounce once.
No balls can be given for a number of reasons but particularly if the bowler doesn’t call “play” when they throw the ball so that the batter knows the ball is coming.
The bats used are completely standard cricket bats.
All runs scored by B1 batters are doubled and they are allowed 1 warning before being called out for LBW if it happens again.
B1 batters do not make the runs themselves after hitting the ball and cannot be stumped by the wicketkeeper. Instead they have a partially sighted runner, who can be both stumped and run out.
Blind (B1) fielders can make a catch after the ball has bounced once and the batter will be called out.
All other players must catch the ball on the full.
Let us know if there are any other sports you’d like us to cover in our ‘An Introduction To…’ series.