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A busy first half of the year

Posted in Disability Cricket

Halfway through the season already – I’m not sure where the year has gone which is a sure sign that things are moving at a pace in the world of disability cricket.

No sooner had our deaf cricketers returned from a pretty successful tour Down Under in January than preparations started for the new season.

Eligibility profiling for physical disability players has been ongoing all year and continues as I write. The latest session was held at Malvern College for the annual physical disability Super 4s tournament, now in its fourth year.

The England Physical Disability side played their first ever fixture in May on the County Ground at Hove. The result was disappointing but the game allowed Head Coach Chris Ellison to learn a lot about his players. Their season continues with games against the Army on 7th August at Bournville and against the England Learning Disability side at High Wycombe on 4th September.

Speaking of the LD squad, they have a tournament of their own to prepare for. The fourth Tri-Nations Series for Cricketers with Intellectual Impairment takes place in Kimberley, South Africa in November. The squad is yet to be finalised and no doubt all will be keen to impress Head Coach Derek Morgan over the rest of the season.

Our blind cricketers have had a quiet summer on the international front with no home series. Instead the management team, supported by Blind Cricket England and Wales, conducted a Talent ID programme which yielded a further 60 new cricketers.

Hopefully one or two of those will be able to force their way into the reckoning for the Blind Ashes Series taking place next year ahead of a T20 Blind World Cup in India next November.

Umesh Valjee

Umesh Valjee goes on the attack against the MCC but it was not enough to prevent the visitors winning at Campbell Park

The Deaf side were beaten by the MCC at Campbell Park in June - the first time that MCC have won this fixture in four years. Captain Umesh Valjee top scored for England Deaf in that fixture and this seems to be a recurring feature of our national deaf cricket team.

You may be aware of Umesh’s feats during the winter in Australia which saw him crowned as England Disabled Cricketer of the Year at the Brit Player of the Year Dinner at Lord's back in May. A fantastic achievement and a well deserved accolade for an extremely talented cricketer.

Writing this has caused me to feel a bit guilty for not blogging more often as there is so much to report but I’m trying to keep the size of my blogs down. Note to self – blog more often!