Blind cricketers
Representational picture Reuters

Mahantesh G.K, the President of Cricket Association for the Blind in India (CABI) has requested Union Sports Ministry to grant it recognition, as he wants to make this sport more popular in the country.

"We have started getting financial support from some corporates and some governments. However, to make it sustainable we need recognition from the ministry of sports. They should not have waited this long since our team so many championships. Cricket is a religion in India and we want the blind cricket to also become a talk of every home in the nation," Mahantesh, who is the Founder Managing Trustee of the Samarthanam Trust, which works as the patron of CABI, told IANS on Monday.

President Ram Nath Kovind on Sunday awarded the Samarthanam Trust with The National Award For Empowerment of Persons With Disabilities (Divyangjan) in a ceremony held at Vigyan Bhawan in presence of Thaawarchand Gehlot, Minister of Social Justice & Empowerment.

The team's success portfolio includes winning first T-20 World Cup (2012), fourth ODI World Cup Championship (2014) and T-20 Asia Cup (2016) and also second T-20 World Cup early this year.

Mahantesh said that to ensure that the trophies continue to be won by India, the government's recognition is required.

"We have all the required eligibility criteria to be a federation. Through the recognition, our players will get promotions, jobs and much more rewards that comes being part of the government," he said.

"We need to expand our programmes and need to improve grassroots structure."

Shekhar Naik, the former captain of Indian blind cricket team, was also one of the awardees from Kovind.