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Ellison hails England PD squad

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Watch our video with England Physical Disability squad head coach Chris Ellison

England’s Physical Disability cricketers are as good as able-bodied players, head coach Chris Ellison has claimed ahead of the limited-overs contests with their Pakistan counterparts.

Ellison’s 15-man squad yesterday flew to the United Arab Emirates for two Twenty20 games and four 40-over matches at the ICC Global Cricket Academy in Dubai.

It will be the first international cricket series between two teams of physically disabled players where both are recognised and endorsed by the governing body of cricket in their country.

Ellison admitted he has to remind himself his charges have physical disabilities.

“We’ve got a really good mix of batters, bowlers, seamers, wicketkeepers,” he told ecb.co.uk.

“A very, very talented bunch and when you watch them move, watch them perform it’s often quite difficult to see the nature of their disability because they’re fantastic cricketers.”

Preparations for this trip have been hectic, with the tour only becoming a reality last summer.

“When Ian Martin, the national disabilities manager, mentioned to me that this might be going ahead, I thought he was talking about January 2013,” Ellison explained.

“I took me 20-30 seconds to realise and appreciate that he was talking about five months’ time and I though ‘whoa, fantastic’. But when these opportunities come along we’ve got to grab them, we’ve got to grab them with both hands to a man; all the lads, all the coaching staff, all the support team.

“All the players have bought into this and this opportunity that’s been created so we very, very grateful for that.”