England to challenge for trophy
England go into the Tri-Nation Tournament for Cricketers with a Disability hoping they can make home advantage tell.
It is a little over 18 months since Australia won the inaugural competition in Cape Province, South Africa. The defending champions arrive in England on Friday to do battle again with their old enemy and the South Africans.
The tournament takes place across the south of England with the first two games being played on June 6 & 7 at Hampshire’s Rose Bowl.
The teams then move on to Lord’s, Hove and Arundel Castle with the final being played at Arundel, in the presence of ECB's Chief Executive David Collier, on June 15.
England are hoping for a much improved performance after a disappointing showing in South Africa in 2005.
Team Manager Ian Martin said: “In South Africa we had a relatively new squad who had been playing in our domestic County Championship using an Incrediball (a soft plastic cricket ball).
“The tournament in South Africa was the first time that many of our players had actually played with a standard cricket ball and we were slow to adapt but improved as the tournament progressed.
“Our experience in South Africa led to the introduction of "Hardball Cricket" in the national County Championship and as hosts this time around we hope to mount a more serious challenge for the trophy".
Tournament Director is ECB's Disability Consultant Roger Fuggle who added “The pinnacle of any cricketers career is to represent his country and these players are no different.
“We aim as far as possible to prepare the team in the same way that any England team is prepared and I am grateful to our coaches Bobby Denning of Lancashire and Ian Powell of Yorkshire for their time and dedication.
“I am particularly thankful to ECB for providing the majority of the funding for the tournament and to staff at MCC, Hampshire, Sussex and Arundel for allowing us to use their grounds and facilities to stage the matches.
“I look forward to welcoming our guests from South Africa and Australia and hope that they enjoy a wonderful tournament but the patriot in me hopes that they return home empty handed".
England squad: James Dickens (c) (Somerset), Idris Saeed (Warwickshire), Gavin Randall, Danny West and Lee Jay (all Hampshire), Kyle Topping, Dave Lyons and Jonny Simpson (all Lancashire), Usman Ahmed, Allun Hughes and John Taylor (all Yorkshire), Doug Randall and Pete Brown (both Isle of Wight), Ian Crumplin (Wales) and Ronnie Abbot (Cheshire).
June 6 - England v Australia - Rose Bowl
June 7 - South Africa v Australia - Rose Bowl
June 8 - England v South Africa - Lord’s
June 11 - South Africa v Australia - Hove
June 12 - England v South Africa - Hove
June 14 - England v Australia - Arundel
June 15 - Final - Arundel