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Deaf squad for Australia trip revealed

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Kym Daley & Umesh Valjee

Umesh Valjee, right, who led England Deaf to a draw in 2008, is in charge again for January's tour Down Under

The ECB today named the England Deaf squad for the forthcoming tour of Australia in January 2011.

The squad will play one Test match during the Ashes series for deaf cricketers, followed by two one-day internationals and three Twenty20 internationals as part of a tri-series against Australia and South Africa in Geelong.

England will be looking to win back the trophy currently held by Australia after their last encounter in 2008 ended in a draw.

The Ashes series for deaf cricketers dates back to the early 1990s, which signalled the start of the May/Craven Trophy for the winners and was the fore-runner to the first Deaf World Cup in 1996.

George Greenway, James Schofield and Michael Weathersby are all new to the squad and will be making their first trip Down Under, hoping to show captain Umesh Valjee what they are capable of.

ECB national disability cricket manager Ian Martin said: “Everyone involved in deaf cricket in England is looking forward to the forthcoming series and the challenge that playing against Australia in Australia brings.

“The last Ashes series for deaf cricketers was very close and we are looking forward to a well-fought contest. We are also looking forward to the tri-series involving South Africa, whom we have not faced for a few years.

“We have some new faces in the squad and a new, but experienced coaching team with the opportunity to bring two titles home. The squad are well prepared and ready for the challenges that lie ahead.”

England Deaf squad to tour Australia

Umesh Valjee (captain, Middlesex)
Paul Allen (Derbyshire)
Saul Allison (Surrey)
Liam Backhurst (Durham)
Matt Clinton (Cumbria)
James Dixon (Lancashire)
Matthew Everett (Essex)
Stephen George (Devon)
George Greenway (Devon)
Chris Hughes (Warwickshire)
Stefan Pichowski (Kent)
James Schofield (Gwent)
Darrell Sykes (Yorkshire)
Michael Weathersby (Glamorgan)
Andrew Wood (Yorkshire)


(all matches to take place at Geelong Grammar School)

Jan 17-19: Australia v England, Ashes Test

Jan 21: Australia v South Africa, ODI
Jan 22: South Africa v England, ODI
Jan 23: Australia v England, ODI
Jan 24: South Africa v England, Australia v England, both T20
Jan 26: Australia v South Africa, England v Australia, both T20
Jan 27: ODI final