First edition of Star Sports Deaf ICC World Cup T20 an unparalleled success
The tournament included teams from Australia, Sri Lanka, Nepal and South Africa, apart from host DCS from India.
At the end, while it may not have been a win for the host team, the hearing impaired across the world were the real winners of the first ever Deaf-ICCWorld Cup T20, presented by Star Sports as the title sponsor, hosted by the Deaf Cricket Society, organised by Deaf International Cricket Council (Deaf-ICC).
After many hard fought victories and some heart-breaking defeats over the five day tournament, the team from Sri Lanka emerged victors, lifting the first Deaf-ICC T20 World Cup, defeating the host team by 36 runs. The tournament that was played at the Teri Gram cricket grounds in Gurugram, received unprecedented support from all sides of society and has redefined one of the world’s most popular sports.
With teams from as many as 5 countries including the DCS team from India participating in the T20 World Cup over the seven-day-period, the Deaf-ICC T20 World Cup proved to be one of the most exciting cricket series played in the country. The tournament that started on 24thNovember included teams from Australia, Sri Lanka, Nepal and South Africa, apart from host DCS from India.
Apart from title sponsor Star Sports, some of the other supporting sponsors included Tata Trust- Development Partner, Mahindra Logistics -logistics Partner, Fortis Healthcare- Medical facilities partner, Lemon Tree – Hospitality partner, Hero Motocorp, Corporate sponsor, DLF Foundation, aegraphics.tv, SM Only Sports, Cochlear among others who have graciously come forward to support this very special tournament.
The tournament started with the host team beating South Africa, followed by Sri Lanka beating Australia. The next three days saw some of the most competitive matches played, comparable to the traditional first class World Cup. By the final, Sri Lanka topped the table with 3 wins and a higher run rate over India that also had three wins. Australia and South Africa had two wins each.
The final match saw player of the tournament and captain of the Sri Lanka team Gimadu Malkam hit 41 runs of 41 balls including 2 sixes and 2 fours and if that was not enough, Malkam went on to take 3 wickets in his 4 overs, giving away just 25 runs. The Indian team, despite winning the toss and electing to field were not able to restrict the Lankan batsmen, who went on to score 145 in their 20 overs. The host team were no match for the blistering Sri Lankan bowling attack that left the Indian team all out in the 18th over, making just 109 runs.
Speaking about the success of the event, Roma Balwani, Member, Advisory Board, Deaf Cricket Society said, “This World Cup is a testament to how technology can help execute some great things. Using the Internet we were able to broadcast the matches across the world and able to get support from all corners. Social media and the Internet were of immense use and I look forward to taking this initiative that we have started to much greater lengths in the coming future. Facebook posts reached as many as 260.7 thousand with post engagements going up to as many as 96.8 thousand. These kinds of numbers are phenomenal and it can only get better from here. On Twitter, our posts got 72.2 thousand tweet impressions from the 61 tweets.”
Gautam Thakar, Chief Executive Officer, Star Sports said, “We are very pleased to be the title sponsors for the Deaf ICC T20 World Cup. It is our endeavour to constantly redefine the role of television as a catalyst of social change. We do that by introducing unique and socially accepted content for our audiences and back projects that include and promote sports in everyday life. The shift has paved the way for sports to become a much larger part of our nation and we believe, the journey has only just begun. We wish all the teams participating in the tournament good luck!"
Sumit Jain, General Secretary, Deaf Cricket Society commented, “The teams played very professionally and in some cases showcased talent that has not been seen in the highest category of the game. Even a team like Nepal got some great International exposure and experience and I am sure they will be a formidable team in the next tournament. South Africa and Australia played some nail biting games while Sri Lanka and India have shown that even in this form of the game they are the leaders. The first Deaf T20 Cricket World Cup got far more support than we could have ever hoped for. The physically challenged need this kind of support and we are very happy that people have come from all parts of the country top watch and support the teams.”
Stefan Pichowski, Chairman, Deaf – International Cricket Council said, “We are using the language of cricket to spread the message and garner support to those who need it most. This World Cuphas done its job already. We have created new heroes and a new segment of one of the world’s most loved sports. It can only get bigger from here. The Deaf Cricket T20 World Cup 2018 has proven to be a life altering event for every hearing impaired person in the world.”
FormerAustralian Cricket team player Brett Lee, the chief guests of the closing ceremony and Cochlear’s Global Hearing Ambassador said, “I can’t imagine cricket without sound: on the field not hearing the appeals and the roars of the crowd, off the field not hearing team mates, or at home not hearing family. I just can’t imagine it. But there is a solution - and I have seen lives transform beautifully from silence to sound with the help of cochlear implants. I am delighted to be watching the specially-abled cricketers playing the deaf ICC T20 Cricket World Cup and I see them as world class cricketers as talented as any of us.”
Deaf Cricket Society, started in 2012, is a non-profit voluntary organisation registered society under the Societies Registration Act, 1860. It is also registered under the Persons with Disabilities Act of 1995. The DCS has 08 state level associations and over 500 players affiliated at various domestic cricket level tournaments in India. It is affiliated to the Deaf-ICC. DCS depends on of funds from corporate sponsors. DCS successfully organized 2nd T-20 Asia Cup in March 2017 at Dhaka, Bangladesh & T-20 Indian Deaf Premier League in April 2017.
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