Blind cricket summer series begins

BOP Blind Cricket captain Steph Jobson is all geared up for the first home game this Sunday. Supplied Photo.

Bay of Plenty Blind Cricket representatives will be playing their first home game this season at Blake Park this Sunday.

The first T20 game against Manukau South begins at 10am, followed by a match against Waikato after lunch.

Team captain and Bay of Plenty Blind Sports Club president Steph Jobson says the sport is growing and is a great way for visually-impaired people to stay active.

Blind cricket is played with a special plastic ball filled with ball bearings and metal wickets, to make it easier to hear. They also bowl under arm.

“The wicket keeper and bowler also have to be very vocal to give a sense of direction. There’s huge communication on the field,” says Steph.

She says players range from totally blind people, to those with very strong prescription lenses. For example, the wicket keeper usually has better vision, to help keep the game running smoothly.

Although big hits are unusual, they’re not impossible either.

“We played two weeks ago and had two people caught out, which is not common. We have a couple of guys with really powerful swings, and they manage to get the ball up in the air.”

Steph says Manukau is definitely the team to beat this Sunday, with many of their players also in the New Zealand team going to the world cup in India next year.

Other blind sports the club is hoping to promote include lawn bowls, cycling, and sailing.

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