Last Tuesday, a visually impaired South African cricketer, Ferdi Boer, became the first local cricketer to score a double century in a blind T20 match.
The challenges – and joys – of blind cricket have been highlighted in the media increasingly in recent years, and the Titans cricketers themselves recently took up the challenge of competing in a blind cricket match against South Africa’s national blind side. Footage of this content did a terrific job of highlighting the skills required by blind cricketers.
Blind cricket was further put on the map last Tuesday when blind cricketer Boer became the first visually impaired South African cricketer to hit a double century in a blind T20 match at the Blind Cricket South Africa (BCSA) national tournament in Tshwane. The Boland blind cricketer batted right through his side’s 20 overs against Free State before being run out off the final ball of their innings, having scored 205. His innings included 39 fours and four sixes.
Boer told ESPNcricinfo that his interest in cricket started when he was a young boy.
‘I went to a school for the blind and they introduced me to cricket there. I took it from there, went to tournaments. Those tournaments helped me to grow my batting skills, and this is where I am today because of blind cricket,’ said Boer, who is used as a pinch-hitter as he plays under the B2 (partially sighted) category.
‘From a small age when I started playing blind cricket in 2004, I was a very aggressive batsman. All the players, all the teams, were very aware of me. When I open the batting, they want to get me out because they know if I bat through, I’ll go big.
‘It’s something big for me, to achieve that. It’s really something big for me. I batted almost the whole 20 overs, and it was really hot and I was so tired, but I made it. Everybody’s talking about it. I want to thank all my family and friends for the support.’
Sadly, his incredible innings was overshadowed by the sudden death of Sonwabile Bidla, the national team captain and president of BCSA, who played against Boer in the final of the tournament.
‘It’s very sad news for us,’ said Boer. ‘He was playing for Gauteng blind cricket as well. His team was playing in the final against my team, Boland, and they won the final. Sonwabile’s passing is very sudden and very sad news for us here in South Africa.’
Boer and Bidla played together for South Africa in the World T20 in India in 2017.
Source and photo: Cricinfo
Visuals: Titans (Facebook)