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Aiming to be number one

Posted in Disability Cricket

Well, that's it. The season is over and we all have time to sit and reflect - but not for long.

Firstly, I'd like to congratulate Andy Flower and Andrew Strauss on leading us to the number one spot in Test cricket.

However, we must not forget the guys in the background who put in masses of hard work that enables the team to excel on the pitch.

The success of the Test team really is a triumph for the evolving performance culture that has been in place for the last decade. It takes time, patience, hard work and a strong team ethic for any culture to grow and become succesful and it is a tribute to all involved that the efforts are now bringing a golden era of English cricket to the table.

The Australians, Indians and all other Test playing nations will be looking at us now and will be working tirelessly to emulate our success.

In terms of Physical Disability cricket, it has been a great year. Typically, we have experienced massive highs, awful lows and quite a bit in between.

After such a long wait to actually get the national squad up and running, it would have been easy to sit back and enjoy the ride but that is not what we are about.

After our opening defeat against a strong Portslade side at Hove, we gathered at Malvern for the annual PD performance weekend. After three successful years, we took a bold step to change the format and it worked superbly.

The players responded and we were able to invite a further six players into the squad, giving us real depth and a great blend of youth and experience.

England PD Team

The England Physical Disability team enjoyed a wonderful win against the Army in a game which went down to the last over

We then took on the Army and in true PD fashion, we waited until the last possible moment to clinch a thrilling victory. This game in particular showed us that the squad, although still in its infancy, has real character and a strong team ethic.

Defeat to the ever-improving MLD squad was a setback and the weather robbed us of our final game of the season at High Wycombe which meant the season was over prematurely.

The aim of 2011 was to establish the squad, giving it a clear identity with agreed goals and specific roles for all involved.

On reflection, we have achieved this and more. With a squad of 21 players, it is difficult to give everybody game time and a chance to showcase their ability, but we achieved this. The players have embraced the performance culture we are trying to implement and they have come further than any of us really expected.

With the season over, we now begin our preparations for a busy 2012 season. Training camps in October, December and January are on the agenda and I am sure that there will be a few surprises along the way.

Our aim is to become the mirror image of the Test squad - number one in the world and a blueprint for success with a long term plan to ensure we remain at the top.

So far so good.

Thanks for reading.