Bradford and District Visually Impaired Community Club resumed cricket training last weekend as the 2022 cricket season approaches.
Having only recently been founded, the club have already achieved a huge feat as they emerged victorious at the development festival in Leicester in September of last year. Given that they have only existed as a club for little over three years, coming first here against a number of more experienced teams was a substantial accomplishment.
This success has contributed to them now having the opportunity to embark upon a new chapter as they were recently accepted into the regional league for the first time.
Over the course of four months, they will be competing against various other visually impaired teams from the North of England. Speaking to me recently, club captain and chairman Arif Malik was keen to convey how seismic a step this was for the club but he is by no means content with only being one of the participants.
He said: “We want to win the league and enter into the national league in the future.”
This demonstrates the sort of drive that members of B And D have become accustomed to from Arif and it is due to this that the club have been able to come so far in such little time.
Visually impaired cricket is played with a ball that rattles in order for the participants to be able to locate where it is going. The rules are largely the same as those in mainstream cricket but the ball has to bounce before reaching the crease in order for the batter to gage where it is heading. Having been a cricketer for Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire’s VI teams in the past, Arif was keen to get something off the ground close to home.
“Being visually impaired myself and learning that in Bradford and the surrounding area we have 5,000 people registered blind or visually impaired, I knew there was a need.”
Another motive for Arif establishing the club was the lack of opportunity for people with disabilities to be active.
“A lot of people who are visually impaired feel isolated and are not able to do sport or social activities so something had to be done.”
Now 20 people strong, the fact that the club now provides VI tennis has added further incentive for people to get involved. The club plans to hold cricket and tennis training sessions alternate Saturday’s for the foreseeable future, the first of which was last Saturday. The club is keen to add more sports to its artillery in order to attract even more people to their midst.
If you or somebody you know is visually impaired and interested in playing VI sport please don’t hesitate to contact the following phone number: 07977120668 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org