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Plenty of achievements of note

Posted in Disability Cricket

Having just looked at the date of my last blog I wonder where the time has gone.

March, April and nearly May have passed in a blur and it’s about time I sat down and provided a bit of an update for those of you interested in the world of disability cricket.

First of all some congratulations are in order. Gavin Randall of Hampshire and England LD won Junior Disability Sportsman 2007 at the Sport Hampshire & Isle of Wight Sports Awards - a much deserved award for a cricketer who has worked very hard not only on his game but also his fitness over the winter.

In April Shropshire’s star cricket coaches, Neil Bradshaw and Jonathan Caldecott, between them took the title of Coach of the Year at the 2008 npower Disability Sports Awards held at Aston Villa Football Club. Again, much deserved recognition for two guys who give up their time to develop cricketers with a disability.

I would also like to say well done to Stephen Bailey of Wales who took an astonishing five wickets for just one run at Old Trafford against an England XI back in April.

This year sees a new addition to the disability cricket calendar as the first ever Regional Tournament for Cricketers with a Physical Disability will be held at Loughborough over the weekend of 26 and 27 July.

My thanks go to Jo Pearson at NPC Loughborough and to those members of the BACD committee who have worked hard to put the tournament in place. It will give our cricketers with a physical disability a higher level of competition above that of the County Championship and will provide the pool of players that any future England PD side can be picked from.

Our England Learning Disability Squad are gathering this weekend at Euxton CC in Lancashire for a training weekend. There they will play the reigning County Champions, Lancashire, on the Saturday and enjoy a squad training session on the Sunday all as part of the Euxton CC Cricket Festival organised by Gary O’Neil. The LD squad are preparing for their next tournament against South Africa and Australia in 2009.

The Deaf Cricket selectors have chosen their squad for this summer's Ashes series taking place across the North West, North Wales and the Midlands.

Their preparations are going well and in a recent warm up fixture teams from the North and the South faced each other at Campbell Park in Milton Keynes with the North winning by seven wickets. The first test against Australia begins on July 8 at Southport and Birkdale CC.

Our visually impaired cricketers are also preparing for a busy summer as they host the West Indies in a three match ODI series in August. The games will be held in the West Midlands at Moseley CC, Harbourne CC and King Edwards School as the squad prepare for this winter's Ashes trip to Australia.

On the domestic front the ECB National County Championship for cricketers with physical and learning disabilities has got underway. Full details of fixtures are on www.bacd.co.uk. A new addition this year is the team from the London Community Cricket Association so good luck to them in their first season of County Championship cricket.

That’s all for now, but I’ll try and keep the blog updated as we go through the season. In the meantime if you have any questions regarding disability cricket feel free to email me at disabilitycricket@ecb.co.uk.

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