Ahmedabad (Gujarat) [India], March 11 (ANI): England and India are set to lock horns against each other in the five-match T20I series, but before the action starts, batters Dawid Malan and Sam Billings had an interaction with three blind cricketers, hailing from Gujarat.
Billings and Malan had an interaction with blind cricketers — Vishnu, Dinesh and Nikul. The official handle of the British High Commission in India tweeted the interaction and captioned the post as: “Cricket knows no boundaries! Who needs a hit of cricket chat ahead of the first #T20Cricket match with tomorrow? See English cricketers @sambillings & @dmalan29 have a chat with ‘unbelievably skilful’ blind cricketers from Gujarat about their love for the sport.”
Both Billings and Malan shared with ANI how it was like to speak to Vishnu, Dinesh and Nikul.
“It was wonderful and very humbling to speak with Vishnu, Dinesh and Nikul. Their commitment to the game we all love, despite the challenges they face, is a real lesson in how to accept challenges and overcome them. Our chat also emphasised to me how cricket really is a game for everyone, no matter what circumstances you find yourself in,” Malan told ANI.
Billings highlighted how Dinesh and Nikul had travelled for five hours to just be on a call with the two English cricketers. The right-handed batsman also revealed how it was an enriching experience for him.
“I think Dinesh and Nikul, two of the players we spoke with, had travelled for five hours just to be on the call with us. Those two, together with Vishnu, the Gujarat captain, were fantastic to speak with and they were even generous enough to give us each a ball used in blind cricket. Dawid and I both agreed we would give it a try when we get the chance, although it seems incredibly difficult, and I think we are both in awe of the skills the players have,” said Billings.
In the virtual interaction, the three blind cricketers had asked the England batting duo about their experience of training in the world’s largest stadium — Narendra Modi Stadium. They also asked Malan and Billings about their experiences of playing in IPL and tackling the challenges which come along while playing in India.
England’s T20I squad for series against India: Eoin Morgan, Liam Livingstone, Dawid Malan, Jason Roy, Moeen Ali, Sam Curran, Tom Curran, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Jonny Bairstow, Sam Billings, Jofra Archer, Chris Jordon, Adil Rashid, Mark Wood, Reece Topley. (ANI)