Time flies by
Posted in Disability Cricket
It feels like only yesterday that I was penning my last blog but it was actually over four months ago.
Before I talk about Physical Disability cricket, I'd like to pay tribute to the England Deaf squad who recently returned from touring Australia.
Although they returned without the Ashes, the way in which the squad performed, the discipline they showed both on and off the pitch, and the outstanding way they represented their country is an absolute credit to the ECB, the coaching and management staff and disability cricket as a whole.
They have now raised the bar and set the standard that all of our national squads must endeavour to match.
Back to PD cricket now and it has been a busy few months in our sport.
The first-ever training camp for the National High Performance Squad took place at Loughborough and it was a resounding success. We were joined by David Graveney who gave us a fascinating insight into elite level cricket and Ian Martin addressed the group and set the tone superbly.
The players were superb and bought into everything that was put in front of them. During our discussions many players wanted reassurances about the future of the squad.
After so many false dawns in the past, it was understandable that players may question the validity of this squad. At the time, we could only ask them to trust us when we said that further training camps would be planned in 2011.
I am delighted to say that we have kept our promises and the next training camp will be held this weekend at Ellesmere College, Shropshire.
With a further camp planned in mid-April and a number of fixtures being planned throughout the summer, I feel this proves ECB's commitment to the squad and its development.
Lead Coach Chris Ellison is working feverishly to complete the plans for the weekend and I am sure it will challenge all of the players physically, technically and mentally.
As I have said in my previous blog, the door is always open to new players and we will be looking to add further depth to the squad over the coming months.
We will be closely monitoring the players we are already aware of and we continue to search for new players from mainstream cricket and beyond. All squads need depth and the High Performance Squad will be no different.
In the National Championship, it is great to see Nottinghamshire re-entering this year having been away for a few years. It is also good to see Essex on board and with promising developments in Sussex and other counties, the game continues to grow and reach out to more and more people.
This championship promises to be the most exciting in history with so many counties entering and the standard improves with every step we take. The ECB backing has propelled it to new levels and the standard of administration is now to the level of many premier leagues around the country.
With international standard profiling for PD players currently underway and similar plans afoot for those players with Moderate Learning Disabilities, the championship promises to offer an outstanding route into cricket with a fair and honest platform to enjoy and excel in the game.
I hope to write more about the profiling process in future blogs and if you have any questions, please contact me directly.
All the best and thanks for reading.