Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday felicitated seven visually-challenged cricket players from the state for their achievements at the International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) World Games this year in Birmingham, England, recently.
Patnaik presented a cash prize of Rs 20 lakh to each of the four players from Odisha - Padmini Tudu, Basanti Hansda, Jhili Birua and Phula Soren - who were part of the Indian women's team that secured the gold medal.
Indian women scripted history by clinching the gold beating Australia by nine wickets at the IBSA World Games in August. Md Jafar Iqbal, Nakula Badanayak and Pankaj Bhue are three members of the visually challenged Indian men’s team which won the silver medal. These players from Odisha each got Rs 15 lakh.
The Indian men's blind cricket team lost to Pakistan by eight wickets in the IBSA World Games final.
Congratulating the cricketers, the Chief Minister said, "The players have made us all proud with their outstanding achievements in spite of all the challenges they faced in reaching this level. Their remarkable talent, dedication, and hard work are an inspiration for all.”
Cricket for the visually challenged made its debut in the International Blind Sports Federation World Games this year.
-With PTI Input