In a heartwarming display of inclusivity and sportsmanship, a charity cricket tournament for visually impaired individuals was organised on Sunday 27th August by the UK-based, non-profit organisation Heritage Bengal Global (HBG), supported by London Borough of Harrow and sponsored by the higher educational provider, Global Banking School (GBS). The event brought together participants from all walks of life, showcasing the power of determination and community support.
GBS is committed to improving lives through education, with an understanding that learning lessons for a better life does not end in the classroom. This is why GBS actively supports initiatives that focus on the well-being of people and their communities — including sports activities like the memorable charity cricket tournament for visually impaired athletes. GBS looks forward to supporting more initiatives like this in the future which help to spread the message of valuing education, health, well-being and community spirit.
The tournament was played for the GBS Trophy which was won by the Indian High Commission team led by its official, Ankit Tiwari. Deputy High Commissioner. Sujit Ghosh was the highest run scorer, while local MP, Bob Blackman, playing for the Mayor of London- HBG combined team, won the ‘Highest Wicket Taker’ award. The ‘Man of the Match’ was young Aryan from Ruislip.
The final was a keenly contested match where the Indian High Commission beat the Mayor of Harrow team by just two runs. The highlight of the day was the visit by the visually impaired Indian women’s and men’s cricket teams when they played a short demo game and were congratulated by the Mayor of Harrow, Ramji Chauhan, MP Bob Blackman, representatives from GBS, Dr Dinesh Saraswat and Asim Dutta, HBG Director, Anirban Mukhopadhyay and the other dignitaries present.
In the demo game, the teams clearly showed why they are one of the top teams in the world, hitting boundaries and taking wickets. They also explained the rules of the game to the crowd gathered who responded enthusiastically. The head coach of the team, John David, expressed gratitude for having been invited and appealed to the community for greater support from the diaspora for visually impaired sportspeople.
Vice President of HBG, Mahua Bej said, “Our aim is to create awareness for the visually impaired people, the challenges they face in their sports and see how we can facilitate their funding, which is always a challenge”.
The GBS representative said, “The opportunity to felicitate the Indian men and women visually impaired cricket teams at the Hatch End Playing Ground, is making GBS proud and excited as a give back to the society”.
Councillor, Mathew Goodwin-Freeman, one of the major backers for the event, thanked everyone for their enthusiastic participation and support and seconded the proposal put by the Mayor of Harrow, that Harrow council would support the tournament becoming an annual event.
In his own speech, the Mayor of Harrow, Ramji Chauhan, also said that the council was keen to work in partnership with HBG in putting on a local grand Holi festival in March 2024.
Bob Blackman, continued in a positive vein by offering his gratitude to the hosts for organising such a wonderful day while emphasising the importance of cricket in Indo-British relations.
On behalf of the High Commission of India, Sujit Gosh not only thanked the organisers for their fine work but also pledged the High Commission’s support going forward for similar activities which would create closer bonds within the diaspora community.
For delighted HGB volunteers Sourav Paul, Anuran Sarkar and Manas Chatterjee, the day was the successful culmination of weeks of planning and hectic activities up to the last minute.
Summing up, HGB director, Anirban Mukhopadhyay expressed relief that after a light drizzle, the sun did come out, making it a lovely afternoon for the international visually impaired guests and everyone else to enjoy the cricket. He thanked the sponsors, GBS, for their wonderful support.
Notes to editors:
GBS is a private higher education provider that is committed to changing lives through education. It has a commitment to ensuring everyone has access to higher education, regardless of background or circumstances. It is on a path to open a world of opportunities to individuals for whom higher education was always a dream, but never an option. GBS believes a healthy mind leads to better citizenship and what better way to create healthy minds than education and sports. Hence GBS is working closely with London Borough of Harrow and the non-profit organisation, Heritage Bengal Global (HBG), to bring communities closer together through sports.