England series boost PD profile with ICC
England’s series with Pakistan in Dubai has placed Physical Disability Cricket on the International Cricket Council’s agenda, according to its chief executive Haroon Lorgat.
The Twenty20 and 40-over rubbers, the first between two national teams of physically disabled players where both are recognised and endorsed by the governing body of cricket in their country, ended yesterday.
Lorgat said: “We started to look at this (Physical Disability Cricket) a little while back and it is a piece we have been looking at in recent (ICC) meetings.
“In the March agenda we’ll look again at it and the first thing we would like to do is put a framework together to bring it under the banner of the ICC.
“There was an awareness that needed to be created and the people in England and Pakistan in particular have raised that level in those two countries.
“The media coverage here and the statistics the players have presented are something for others to see now and at the next CEC (ICC chief executives’ committee) meeting we will talk some more and we will present that coverage.
“There is a long way to go but this is a great start,” he added.
“In short, it has been indescribable. It is a part of the game that perhaps we don’t pay as much attention to as it is not as flashy as the big boys when they play their first choice teams or female cricket in recent times.
“But credit to those who have persevered and the management of the two teams deserve an enormous amount of credit.
“The teams have opened our eyes by displaying the skill, talent and passion they have over the past two weeks and the players deserve credit for playing the game in the spirit in which they have.”
Pakistan captain and key organiser of the series Saleem Karim hoped it will aid the process of more countries embracing Physical Disability Cricket.
“My wish is to get the Test nations to make disabled teams,” he said. “There are teams for blind, deaf and women players and those who play Tests should make physically disabled teams as well. If they do then it would be better for us and better for the world.”
Both Karim and England skipper James Williams said their hope was for the success of the series to be a catalyst for a physical disability world cup in the coming years.
“When two or three more teams make national teams then we can play each other and after that we can get a Twenty20 World Cup,” Karim added.
Williams said: “Obviously this has been a spectacle as it has been a first but hopefully more countries will come on board, it will grow from here and we can get a world cup series, although that depends on what other countries come on line.”