PORVORIM: “We had no support in the past. Now that Goa Cricket Association (GCA) has been helping us we have practiced for three months and had a tournament to select a team and twenty boys have been picked from twenty four. We are sure to do Goa proud,” stated Yeshwant Nagueshkar, captain of the Goa blind team to participate in the Naguesh Trophy organized by the Cricket association for the Blind in India (CABI) for the first time.
The Naguesh Trophy, which is viewed as the equivalent of the Ranji Trophy for the blind, is contested by twenty four teams divided into four groups. Goa is in Group D along with Karnataka, Rajasthan, Punjab, Pondicherry and Odisha. The first two teams from each group qualify for the quarterfinals.
The Naguesh trophy is played all over the country and Goa will be hosting five matches from December 12 to 15. Goa, as hosts, will play three of their matches at the GCA Academy ground in Porvorim.
“Blind Cricket Association of Goa (BCAG) would like to thank Chetan Desai for sponsoring the uniforms and transport for the tournament. We would also like to thank the Managing Committee of GCA for not only hosting the five matches in Goa but fully organizing the five matches in Goa. Our participation would not have been possible without the help of the people in GCA who have come forward,” stated Yeshwant during an interaction with the media before the team’s departure to Punjab.
“I have to walk for an hour to reach the practice ground in Marcel because there is no road where I live. But playing cricket and meeting my fellow colleagues has helped make a difference in my life. I promise to score at least two centuries during the tournament,’ stated Tukaram Shanu Gaonkar, one of the players selected to represent Goa.
“The Goa squad consists of six players who have played before while fourteen players will be making their first appearance for Goa. The boys are excited. We have had a lot of practice matches amongst ourselves and with the support we have seen, we are sure of bringing honour to Goa,” promised Yeshwant.
“The GCA Managing committee has decided to go all out in giving whatever support the boys need. We know what an impact this participation will have on their lives and we want them to have the best,” stated GCA secretary Daya Pagi on the sidelines of the press conference.