Disability cricket to profit from centres

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Disability cricket in England is set to be given a major boost by the addition of four regional talent-development centres aimed at giving players the best chance to reach the highest level.

The programmes, set to be completed by October, will be utilised by cricketers recruited from the domestic system.

Once qualities that are crucial to ensuring success have been identified in players, they will be given the opportunity to utilise the facilities - as the ECB's national disability cricket manager Ian Martin explained.

He told ecb.co.uk: "The idea is we identify players from the domestic game and give them an education structure to improve them.

Ian Martin

Speaking about the four regional talent-development centres to be completed in October, the ECB's national disability cricket manager Ian Martin said: "The centres are really important"

"We have a world's-best talent profile, so we know the characteristics of the world's best cricketers across all of the impairment groups.

"What we need to do is recognise or identify players in the domestic structure who show signs of exhibiting those particular characteristics

"They are the people we will be taking out of the domestic structure and into the programme. So we will be identifying those with the most chance for us to develop and turn into international cricketers.

"The aim will be improvements in technical cricket development as well as giving lifestyle support, nutritional advice and fitness regimes to prepare them better for representing England.

"The centres are really important and are the main things that I will be working on this year."

Martin acknowledges that not everybody who utilises the centres will play for England, but is confident they will see benefits that extend far beyond the sporting arena.

"Not everybody will make the grade and play for England, but what we have to make sure is that if we let people go, they leave the programme as better individuals and cricketers," he added.

"It is very much about the development of the individual, both in terms of their lifestyle and their cricket. If players are good and fortunate enough to get into the programme, it will give a massive boost to their confidence."