ISLAMABAD: The Australian High Commission sponsored six-day cricket training for visually impaired women and girls concluded on Monday.

The high commission had collaborated with the Pakistan Blind Cricket Council (PBCC) and Serena Hotels.

The training builds on Australia’s support to the PBCC since 2018 that led to the formation of Pakistan’s first blind women cricket team.

The new team played its first international Twenty20 game the same year.

Speaking at the award-giving ceremony at the conclusion of the training, Australian High Commissioner to Pakistan Neil Hawkins said Australia’s support aimed to provide more women and girls with disabilities the opportunity to compete and demonstrate their ability while promoting inclusion in sport.

“We hope to break gender stereotypes and negative perceptions associated with people with disabilities through our support of this initiative. Australia and Pakistan share a passion for cricket, so we are happy to support the Pakistan Blind Cricket Council’s efforts to bring women and girls living with disabilities into the sport,” Mr Hawkins added.

Abdul Razzaq, Tahir Butt and Bakhtawar Iqbal, who coached the national blind men’s team, helped these players push their boundaries.

Pakistan Blind Cricket Council Chairman Syed Sultan Shah said: “Blind Cricket is a sport that has gained popularity in recent

years for its unique approach to inclusivity. It provides an opportunity for people with visual impairments to compete at a high level, develop their skills and confidence, and become people of vision, both on and off the field.”

Published in Dawn, March 21st, 2023

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