Martin hails captain fantastic

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Ian Martin says Umesh Valjee was a worthy winner of the ECB Disability Cricketer of the Year

National disability manager Ian Martin says Umesh Valjee was a most deserving winner of the England Disability Cricketer of the Year award.

The England Deaf team captain picked up the accolade at the ECB Men’s and Women’s Cricketer of the Year awards evening which was held in the Long Room of the Lord's Pavilion.

Valjee scooped the award following a wonderful winter in Australia where he cracked three centuries - sensational form that helped England win the T20 Tri-Series.

"Umesh has been a stalwart of the England Deaf Cricket team for a number of years and the success that he had in the winter, three centuries in the first four innings of an Ashes tour - absolutely fantastic," said Martin.

"It's the pinnacle of any player's career to be named as England player of the year."

Martin added that for Valjee to be recognised on an evening where Jonathan Trott picked up the England Cricketer of the Year award was a huge fillip for disability cricket.

"For our disability players to be applauded at this level is absolutely fantastic and shows the giant strides the disabled game has made," he said.

"These evenings help a tremendous amount. Whilst we are here celebrating the elite end of the game, of course there is an awful lot of work going on at grassroots level to get more disabled people participating in the sport."