Denning looks to build on success

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England Deaf coach Bobby Denning has named a squad of 12 for the forthcoming Milton Keynes tour where they will play MCC and Northants Academy.

Eight members of the squad were part of the hugely successful tour of Australia last winter where England dominated the drawn Ashes Test and won the Twenty20 Tri-Series.

The talismanic Umesh Valjee will captain the side once again hoping to carry on his majestic form which saw him rattle off three tons Down Under.

England Deaf

England Deaf enjoyed a wonderful tour of Australia but coach Bobby Denning wants them to build on that during the summer

"It is probably the strongest squad we have named," Denning told ecb.co.uk.

"A few players who could not go to Australia are back in the squad so we are very close to being at full strength. It's great to get everyone together again."

England's trip to Australia was a resounding success but Denning, acknowledging that many months have passed since, is keen to push on.

These matches provide a rare chance for the deaf side to get some competitive action. On June 20th England will face the MCC before taking on Northants Academy the following day.

"We want to move forward from our tour of Australia," said Denning.

"It was a massively successful time - we won five of the seven matches - but that was almost six months ago.

"It's great that we can attract fixtures like this. The MCC game has become something of a traditional fixture. We beat them at Lord's last year and hopefully we can do the same again.

"Our game against Northants Academy will be valuable assessment of where we are as a side. We want to get the results but developing the players is important too."

For England to triumph they will need captain Valjee to fire as he did in Australia - performances which saw him win the England Disability Cricketer of the Year award at a sparkling ceremony in the Long Room.

Lydia Greenway, Jonathan Trott & Umesh Valjee

Prolific England Deaf team captain Umesh Valjee poses with his England Disability Cricketer of the Year award at Lord's

"That was fantastic for Umesh," said Denning.

"It was fantastic for the squad too. Umesh is a very disciplined cricketer. He looks after himself and he cares about his game. Nobody was more disappointed not to win the Ashes than him.

"He inspires others in the side. If they can emulate what he has done in the deaf game they will have done exceptionally well."

Denning has also named an England Lions side who will play a Twenty20 and 50-over match against Wolverton Town.

"Having the Lions side is fantastic from a development point of view," said Denning. "It's great for me as coach. I can see which players are knocking on the door for a place in the main side."

Denning will miss the Milton Keynes tour due to a prior coaching engagement with Spain in the ICC European Division 2 Championship. His assistant Ron Young will take charge for the two matches.

England squad v MCC & Northants Academy (June 20th & 21st)

Umesh Valjee (captain)
Paul Allen
James Dixon
Stephen George
Chris Greenway
Mike O'Mahony
Kamran Mirzan
Jake Oakes
Stefan Pichowski
Ben Young
Michael Weathersby
Andrew Wood

England Lions v Wolverton Town (June 20th & 21st

Blyth Duncan (captain)
Saul Allison
Sam Crichard
James Foster
Joel Harris
Chris Harrison
Alex Hopkins
Simon Lycett
Eddie McShane
Andy Sherigan
James Sorbie