Kokila Motpia could only hear the commentary when Virender Sehwag was scoring his record-breaking 219 against the West Indies at Indore.
The 16-year-old girl is blind with just 20 per cent vision in her eyes. So, she depended on her well-tuned ears and cheered every time she heard the ball crash into her icon’s broad blade. Sehwag’s blinder inspired her to set a record of her own that will be difficult to break.
On December 14, a week after Viru’s wonder knock, Kokila hit a monstrous 215 runs off 65 balls with 42 fours against Palanpur in the semifinal of the blind girl’s tournament in Surendranagar as part of the state government Khel Mahakumbh. The opening bat single-handedly took her team to the final.
She led another blitzkrieg in the final on Wednesday against Ahmedabad – an unbeaten 75 runs in 24 ball with 14 fours. Batting second, her team scored the required 96 runs in just 6.3 overs in a 15-over match! No wonder her team Pragnya Chakshu Mahila Sewa Kunj, lifted the trophy.
The daughter of a poor farm labourer hopes to play for India one day. “Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar are my role models,” says the shy girl, who hits more fours than the words she speaks. “It is my dream to meet the two greats one day.” She adds she would have loved to equal Sehwag’s 219.
This class XI student’s feat is special also because she played with over 18 year olds and left many people stunned with her hitting prowess.
“She is passionate about cricket and has now also taken to a physical fitness regime to build her stamina on the field,” said Mukta Dagli of the Pragnya Chakshu Mahila Sewa Kunj.
There are 205 visually challenged girls studying in the school.