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Martin wants more PD opponents

Ian Martin hopes the success of England Physical Disability’s recent series against Pakistan in Dubai can help boost the sport’s profile.

Pakistan emerged victorious in both the Twenty20 and one-day international legs of the tour, recording 2-1 successes in each three-match series.

It was the second meeting between the squads but the first that was streamed live on ECB’s Youtube channel – where the T20 games are still available to view in their entirety.

Both Martin, the ECB’s Head of Disability Cricket, and Honorary Secretary of the Pakistan Disabled Cricket Association Amir Uddin Ansari are hopeful that other nations will now join them after seeing what can be achieved.

“Our aspiration is to get more countries playing but Amir and I cannot do it all ourselves,” said Martin.

“We hope the live streaming of the Twenty20 International series has helped in raising awareness across the world but it is time for other national governing bodies to be taking up disability cricket seriously.

Ian Martin hopes the live streaming of England Physical Disability’s three-match Twenty20 series against Pakistan on the ECB's Youtube page will help attract more countries to play the game“Disability groups within countries need to get organised and have relationships with their national boards and those boards need to take responsibility for giving access to the sport for those who at the moment do not have it.

“It is wrong that in 2014 we have a sport as globally popular as cricket that is not accessible to all.”

Ansari added: “Ian and I have worked hard and we feel proud to have introduced disability cricket at international level.

“What we have seen has been top-quality play with passion, talent and skill on show but although we would like to have other countries playing with us we cannot get there yet.”

England PD suffered defeat in both series-deciding games, but Martin was pleased with the improvement shown since the first contest two years ago.

He added: “The results did not go our way but we are satisfied the performance levels have gone up from our previous series in 2012.

“It is now up to us to go away, learn from what went wrong and work even harder so that next time we can do even better.

“We are extremely happy with the organisation of the series through the ICC Academy at Dubai Sports City and the cricket has once again been a real spectacle."

Former Pakistan all-rounder Mudassar Nazar praised both sides for their performances across the series.

He said: “The quality of cricket between the Pakistan and England physical disability teams was absolutely outstanding and we are proud at the ICC Academy to have hosted the teams and their supporters for a second time.

“These teams are leading the way in promoting physical disability cricket and the ICC Academy is delighted to be playing a part in that promotion by staging these matches."