Martin backs PDs to bounce back

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Daniel Holder

England seamer Daniel Holder sends down a delivery during the opening Twenty20 game against Pakistan at the Global Cricket Academy

Ian Martin is optimistic the England Physical Disabilities side can get off the mark in Dubai and register their first win against Pakistan.

ECB's National Disability Manager has seen enough from two Twenty20 defeats and an opening ODI loss to suggest better fortunes are on the horizon.

"We seriously feel as if we’ve got a win or two in us,” said Martin as he looked ahead to the last two matches on Friday and Sunday.

“For us, it’s a question of looking where our shortcomings are and seeking to put them right.

“I think the skill levels between the two sides aren’t all that different but what has taken Pakistan through so far is their players’ cricket experience and being smart in certain situations.

“Speaking to the Pakistan players during the first match, a lot of them have been playing together for five years. For us, we’ve been together for about 13 months.

“Some of those Pakistan players have played 50-odd games together whereas, with us, we played together three times last year.

“It’s that level of cricket experience where we’ve fallen short so far. We’ve been in good positions in all three games only for a wicket to fall and for a domino effect to follow.

“It’s about learning where our shortcomings are. It’s so important because clearly Pakistan’s players know their games very, very well.”

While England have not been as successful as they would have hoped, Martin believes the ground-breaking tour can already be rated a success.

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

“Results are almost not relevant,” said Martin. “It’s about getting disability cricket on a stage and getting coverage.

“The series has already achieved everything we wanted and more and although it is a cliché, cricket has been the winner.

“We are showing that people with physical disabilities can play cricket to a high standard on the international stage and that is a great thing for us all to be doing to take the game to the next level.”