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Collier lauds Swanepoel impact

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ECB Chief Executive David Collier today paid tribute to the pioneering work of the England Blind team’s Heindrich Swanepoel, who has died suddenly aged 43.

Swanepoel, from Welling in south London, was a member of the England Blind Ashes-winning squads in 2004 and 2008.

He was also treasurer of the World Blind Cricket Council, a member of the Blind Cricket and Wales committee and the Metro Blind cricket team.

Heindrich Swanepoel

ECB Chief Executive David Collier has spoken of his sadness after the sudden death of England Blind team's Heindrich Swanepoel, pictured

An England Blind cricketer since 1996 and a veteran of more than 50 internationals, he was due to fly to India shortly with England Blind team members to take part in the Blind Cricket World T20 tournament in Bangalore.

David Collier said: “This is a sad loss.

"Heindrich was involved at the very beginning of blind cricket becoming an international sport in England and did so much to promote cricket as a game that people with a visual impairment could be part of and aspire to play internationally.

"We send our condolences to his close family and to his many friends in cricket both at home and abroad."

ECB Disability Cricket Manager Ian Martin added: "Heindrich was a giant, both in physical stature and in terms of his contribution to the blind game as a player and an administrator.

"He was a great team-man and 100 per cent committed to the sport. It is very much thanks to Heindrich and others like him that blind cricket enjoys the profile and offers the opportunities that it does today."