SPORTING SPIRIT: Actor Bosskey interacts with players at the inter-district cricket tournament for the hearing impaired organised in Chennai on Tuesday as interpreter Vijaya Bhaskaran of Ability Foundation translates it into sign language.
Teams from Kanyakumari, Cuddalore, Chennai and Tiruvallur participated in the qualifiers
The Tamil Nadu Cricket Association for the Deaf organised their first inter-district cricket tournament for the hearing impaired here on Tuesday. Teams from Kanyakumari, Cuddalore, Tiruvallur and Chennai gathered at the Anna University playground for the qualifying matches. The final match is scheduled for Thursday. Inaugurating the tournament, actor and television personality Bosskey said that cricket was a sportsman’s game, and that what mattered was how one played it and not what one was. “Don’t get discouraged by the disability. See the positive aspects,” he said. As the actor spoke to them, Vijaya Bhaskaran of Ability Foundation translated it into sign language. Every time he cracked a joke, they applauded by waving their hands in the air. While some of the players were hearing impaired, a few were both hearing and speech impaired. Secretary of the Association Barkat S. Saiyed said he had played for Gujarat earlier and that he had gained a lot of experience there. “I want to share it with the juniors,” he said. Captain of the Chennai team Raja said Sachin Tendulkar inspired him most. “He joined the team as a young lad and later grew to become the greatest cricketers in the history of the game,” he said. Raja will represent India in the Asia Cup tournament to be organised in Delhi early next year.
P. Chandrasekar, who has been coaching the Chennai team for the last year, said a scientific way of coaching would help. “Many who usually play tennis ball cricket have come to play with the cricket ball. Coaching has to be consistent and not just before tournaments,” he said. Mr. Chandrasekar said that though he found communicating with the players challenging, he had eventually picked up a little bit of sign language and managed to impart basic skills to his students. “An interpreter is vital as there is a possibility of them misunderstanding what we say if we have not communicated the matter to them clear enough,” he explained.