Padma Shri a God's gift, says blind cricket captain Naik

Shekhar Naik, the captain of India's blind cricket team, thanked the blind cricket fraternity for their support that enabled him to be honoured by the government in the form of Padma Shri.

Shekhar Naik (centre) is lifted by his team-mates after India won the blind cricket World Cup in 2012.   -  V. Sreenivasa Murthy

Indian blind cricket team captain Shekhar Naik, who was selected for Padma Shri award, has credited the blind cricket fraternity in the country for the honour he received from the government. The announcement came as India is all set to host the second T20 World Cup Cricket for the Blind from January 29 to February 12 with 10 countries participating.

“Because of blind cricket I have got this recognition. Blindness is what gave me opportunities. It was not easy as I was born blind and had to overcome all odds. But now I feel it is a God’s gift as I could represent my country because of cricket. The credit goes to all my colleagues who played alongside me and who supported me throughout and provided a platform to play cricket,” Naik said in a release.

“My dream of becoming captain of Indian blind cricket team was accomplished in 2010 and was captain when we won two World Cups. I have represented India in 82 matches. I am thankful to Samarthanam Trust, Bengaluru and CABI for giving this platform,” he added.

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