Martin upbeat ahead of VI World Twenty20

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National Disabilities Manager Ian Martin previews the T20 World Cup for VI Cricketers

National disabilities manager Ian Martin is confident England Visually Impaired can cause a splash in the inaugural World Twenty20 and is targeting a semi-final berth.

England get under way in the competition - the first of its kind - on Sunday and are currently preparing to fly out to India.

“I have every confidence we have a great chance of at least getting to the semi-finals,” Martin told ecb.co.uk. “After that, who knows?

“We are confident we can get to the final, but T20 can be a bit of a lottery - hopefully we can come out with the winning ticket.”

England will endure a difficult start to their campaign, with Martin rating Pakistan and India as the world’s best two visually impaired teams.

He added: “I would put us third; India and Pakistan are very strong and ourselves and Australia are pretty similar.

“We recently lost an Ashes series at home, which was very disappointing, but we bounced back and won the Twenty20 series. That puts us in good stead for a Twenty20 World Cup.”

Such confidence comes from knowing England’s side is filled with players who can impress in what represents an amazing opportunity.

Martin said: “Luke Sugg, the skipper, is definitely the best fielder in the world. We have also got some really talented batsmen; Andy Powers hit two centuries in the Ashes series in the summer.

“Matt Dean is also a key batsman, so we have got some really talented players in the team. The experienced players have travelled abroad before and played cricket for England.

“But one of our younger players, Jimmy Millard, is 16 years old and this is a massive experience for him. And it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience as well.”