ICC announces sign language commentary for cricket live streaming

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In a first for live cricket broadcast, International Cricket Council is all set to experiment with the “sign language” commentary from the venue of the match. In its commitment to ensure cricket is accessible to all sectors of society, the ICC will be live stream two T20I games of the Men’s T20 World Cup Europe Finals on June 16 with integrated sign language.

The ICC is committed to ensuring the sport is accessible to all sectors of society. The 18 June will mark an important day to celebrate and champion inclusion across Europe. The day will include two games being streamed live with dedicated sign language commentary coming direct from the action, rather than a translation of the audio commentary, ICC has stated in a Press release.

The sign language commentary will be provided by former captain of the England national deaf cricket team Umesh Valjee, MBE, the longest-serving deaf cricketer in England with the honour of wearing the No. 1 shirt for his country. Umesh stated, “I am very excited and looking forward to be a part of this special occasion. Cricket has given me so much, and I hope I can inspire the next generation by giving them some access to some high level cricket from Guernsey at the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Europe Final 2019”.

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The commentary will be delivered in British Sign Language, though Umesh explained “knowing these games will be live-streamed across the world, I will try to make my signing more international and the global language of cricket will help”.

Umesh will be joined by Sula Gleeson, BSL/English Interpreter who stated “it is amazing that this opportunity has been arranged so that the international Deaf community can have access to mainstream high level cricket in their own language for the first time”.

Ian Martin, Head of Disability Cricket at the ECB was delighted with the news, “In many ways hearing impairment is a hidden disability and is often overlooked and the needs of the hearing impaired community are never given the same priority as the needs of other disabled groups. Therefore the broadcasting of commentary with the addition of sign language is a huge step forward towards making the game more accessible to a broader audience”.

The ICC are proud to be streaming all 15 games, with a focus on 18 June and the two games with live sign language commentary. Ed Shuttleworth, ICC Development Manager Europe explained “The ICC are utterly committed to ensuring cricket is a sport for all and across Europe we champion a culture of inclusion”.

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