Bass names England blind squad

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Nathan Foy

England will hope prolific batsman Nathan Foy, current ECB Disability Player of the Year, can find form

England blind team coach Gary Bass has named a 16-man squad for next month's series with Pakistan in Sharjah.

The team, led by captain Matthew Dean, will play three ODIs and a Twenty20 against the reigning World Champions.

The two sides were due to meet last summer but the series was cancelled after the Pakistan team failed to obtain visas to enter the United Kingdom.

No obstacles are expected this time with Bass and the players hoping the matches will be worthwhile preparation ahead of next year's World Cup.

Ian Martin, National Disability Cricket Manager, hopes England can reproduce the form which saw them win the Blind Ashes in 2008.

"This short tour will be a challenging one for our guys," he said.

"Not only are we facing perhaps the strongest side in world blind cricket but we also have the heat of Sharjah to contend with which won’t be easy for any of us.

"In addition to this we lost our Head Coach, Chris Porter, because of unforeseen work commitments and so our preparation has been unsettled a little. However, full credit should go to the boys for the way that they have gone about their work in preparing for this tour.

"The cancellation of the home series against Pakistan last year was a big disappointment as we were looking forward to building on our Ashes success in Australia the previous winter.

"So we enter this series eager for some international cricket and keen to prove that we are a team that isn’t afraid of anyone - we will respect the Pakistanis but not be in awe of them.

"They have professional blind cricketers and they are able to get together and practice far more than our squad does but I am sure that if our squad can produce the spirit that we had in Australia 18 months ago we will give them a very hard fought series.”

England squad:

Matthew Dean
Heindrich Swanapoel
Gavin Dean
Jagdish Pata
Mark Bond
Nathan Foy
Mark Turnham
Roy Turnham
John Garbett
Mo Khatri
Andy Powers
David Powers
Dan Field
Luke Sugg
Joe Harrision
Simon Ledwith

Schedule

April 4th Twenty20 v Pakistan, Sharjah Cricket Stadium
April 5th First ODI v Pakistan, Sharjah Cricket Stadium
April 6th Second ODI v Pakistan, Sharjah Cricket Stadium
April 8th Third ODI v Pakistan, Sharjah Cricket Stadium