Five teams, hosts Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, Jamaica and the Windward Islands will contest the one-week tournament from July 4 and organisers are encouraged by the teams’ build-up to their tournament.
“In most of the countries the readiness is quite high in terms of the actual teams doing a lot of training, a lot of groundwork,” Bhawani Persad, General Secretary of the West Indies Cricket Council for the Blind, said yesterday. “There is a high level of involvement right now and all the teams are gearing up for this big event,” he added.
Persad is also pleased that players are “spreading the game of cricket for the blind in their respective territories and in different parts of their respective territories”.
The regional tournament will give selectors a platform to pick a West Indies team to their first trip ever to a Cricket World Cup for the blind.
The world tournament was originally scheduled for South Africa but will now be held in Islamabad, Pakistan. Persad said “poor finances and sponsorship response in South Africa created a lot of problems for the organisers”, causing a venue shift to Pakistan.
The opening ceremony for the world tournament will be held on December 3, World Disability Day, with the finals to be staged on Saturday December 16.
Meanwhile, in preparation for the regional tournament, the Windward Islands will be staging a one-week training camp in St Lucia from May 29 during which they will play two friendly matches against Barbados.