Blind cricketer Amol Karche leaves for Jamaica tour amidst job worry

Updated: Jul 17, 2019, 07:50 IST | Subodh Mayure

Though Amol Karche is confident that his team will put up a good show in the blind cricket team's first-ever Caribbean tour, he has to deal with worries on the home front

Blind cricketer Amol Karche leaves for Jamaica tour amidst job worry
India blind cricketer Amol Karche being felicitated by Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Devendra Fadnavis at a function in Pune recently

India's blind World Cup-winning pacer, Amol Karche is the lone Maharashtra cricketer in the Jamaica-bound national blind outfit, which will leave for the West Indies tonight from Bangalore. Karche was instrumental in India winning the 2014 ODI World Cup in South Africa where he claimed 12 wickets, including two in the final against Pakistan.

Though Karche is confident that his team will put up a good show in the blind cricket team's first-ever Caribbean tour, he has to deal with worries on the home front. "Even though I have represented India in the World Cup and Asia Cup, where we emerged champions, my achievements have not been recognised by the state government. On the contrary, the state government rewarded the national women's cricketers from Maharashtra [Smriti Mandhana, Mona Meshram and Poonam Raut] with R50 lakh each despite the Indian team failing in the Women's World Cup in England in 2017. A lot of other sportspersons were rewarded for their achievements at international competitions, so why should a blind cricketer beg for recognition?" asked Karche in a conversation with mid-day from Pune yesterday.

Amol Karche at the Poona Region Amateur Boxing Association's office
Amol Karche at the Poona Region Amateur Boxing Association's office

"Two weeks ago, our Chief Minister, Devendra Fadnavis presented me a trophy, but how can trophies help me overcome my struggles? I wanted to speak to the CM and urge him to look into my long-pending application for recruitment in the sports quota, but he had to leave immediately after the event. I will try to meet him again and request him to help me get a job which I think I deserve," said Karche, 26. The journey of this 100 per cent blind B1 category cricketer is quite remarkable. He hails from a village called Hol in Baramati. Karche's father Dattatray, 55, a daily wages worker at a farmland in Hol, earns Rs 9000 per month.

In order to pursue his cricket career, Karche Jr has been living at the Poona Region Amateur Boxing Association's office at Nehru Stadium for three years, along with seven other blind sportsmen, who are being helped by the boxing association's secretary Sunil Nevrekar. "When I arrived in Pune six years ago, I had no place to stay. But Nevrekar sir allowed me to live in the association office. I can proudly say that this venue [Nehru Stadium] helped me become a graduate and represent my country at the highest level," said the Pune University politics graduate. Karche is confident that the Ajay Reddy-led India's blind team will return home victorious after winning the bilateral series consisting three ODIs and two T20Is against the Jamaican blind team.

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