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March 3, 2005

Hyderabad hosts 'silent' cricket

From:, India - Mar 3, 2005

T S Sudhir

Thursday, March 3, 2005 (Hyderabad):

Hyderabad is playing host to five days of silent cricket. But the difference with normal cricket ends there.

Many of the deaf cricketers are a revelation. Like Bihar's Nishant who plays with the swagger of a Yuvraj Singh. "I like batting and would like to be a Sachin Tendulkar," he says.

Twelve state teams are taking part in the National Cricket Tournament of the Deaf and many of these players look at cricket as a serious career option.

"When I saw all the deaf play, I was happy and wanted to concentrate so that I could go ahead and represent the country," says K Moses, Andhra Pradesh Team.

But if you thought cricket of the deaf is a civilised sport with no sledging, you are mistaken.

Sign language

The players with their sign language, express their anger and anguish to each other pretty strongly.

Taking full advantage of the fact that the umpires, who do not follow the sign language, don't even realise what is happening.

Just like the men in blue, the Indian deaf cricket team too will cross swords with Pakistan later this month.

A good showing in this championship will ensure players a seat on the bus to Lahore to play five one-dayers.

"There is a Pakistan tour coming up. And then there is the world deaf tournament coming up in Lucknow, later this year,'' says Christine Lazarus, Organiser.

This tournament, which costs Rs 11 lakh, is being conducted entirely by government funding.

There are very few frills and that probably explains why the batsman who gets out gives more than just useful tips to the ingoing batsman.

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