The Australian High Commission sponsored a six-day cricket training and tournament for visually impaired women and girls from across Pakistan, organised in collaboration with the Pakistan Blind Cricket Council (PBCC) on 8-13 March. The training builds on Australia’s support to PBCC in the formation of Pakistan’s first blind women cricket team in 2018, which played its first international Twenty20 game in 2020. Speaking at the award-giving ceremony at the conclusion of the training today, the Australian High Commission’s Chargé d’Affaires, Bryce Hutchesson shared that Australia’s support aims to provide more women and girls with disabilities the opportunity to enjoy sport, compete and demonstrate their ability. “Sport can help reduce gender stereotypes and negative perceptions associated with people with disabilities. 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,” Hutchesson added. Coaches Masood Jan and Abdul Razzak, who coached the national blind men’s team, helped these players push their boundaries. The Chairman of Pakistan Blind Cricket Council, Syed Sultan Shah, said, “Cricket for the blind is a highly competitive game which enables people with visual impairment to become people of vision – a vision of an accessible future full of exciting opportunities for all.” Two blind factory workers invented blind cricket in Melbourne, Australia, in 1922 when they improvised the game using a tin can containing rocks. A few years later, in 1928, the first sports ground and clubhouse for blind cricket was built at Kooyong in Melbourne.