Fantastic four awaits Cheshire

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Cheshire are looking to make it four in a row when they take on Lancashire at Derby in the final of the Hardball County Championship on Friday.

The competition, for players with learning or physical disabilities, has been running since 2006 with Cheshire emerging as the dominant force in recent years following three successive championship victories.

Cheshire, who beat Surrey in their semi-final, are much-fancied to triumph at the County Ground although Lancashire will be confident after beating Hampshire to book a place in the final.

Chris Edwards

Chris Edwards, the 2010 Disability Cricketer of the Year, will be crucial to Cheshire's hopes of a fourth championship title

Ian Martin, National Disabilities Manager, said the two disability domestic finals - the Incrediball final took place last week - are key dates in the ECB calendar.

"With more and more participation opportunities being created for people with disabilities to play cricket, these two games are the peak of the domestic physical disability and learning disability season and are the games that the players strive to play in when they start the season back in May."

Both finalists can boast a raft of England internationals, many of whom will want to impress the selectors of the England Physical Disability and Learning Disability squads.

For the PD squad, they have a series against Pakistan in Dubai to look forward to next year while the LD squad are due in South Africa, so this final is a chance for many to leave a lasting impression.

"This year we have the added incentive for some players who are looking to force their way into touring squads for both PDs and LDs this winter," Martin said.

Martin was also pleased to see the final return to a First Class venue with Derby playing host on Friday.

"It's great that we have been able to get one of the finals back to a First Class ground for the first time for a few years," said Martin.

"It is evidence of the higher profile that ECB are seeking to achieve for all aspects of disability cricket."