England Visually Impaired have announced a 15-man squad for the upcoming World Cup in India.
England will kick off their competition on 31 January against Pakistan in Dehli. They will then compete against Australia, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, New Zealand, South Africa, Sri Lanka and the West Indies in a round-robin format. The top four teams will then qualify for the semi-finals and final on 11 and 12 February respectively.
All-rounder Luke Sugg will captain the side in a World T20 tournament for the second time. The squad includes two uncapped players; Rory Hossell and Gareth Jones. Rory joins his brother Edward in the squad while Gareth is aiming to represent England at a second sport, having already played international football.
ECB Head of Disability Cricket, Ian Martin, said: “The squad has developed so much under Ross Hunter over the last four years I have no doubt that we will be competitive in the tournament. Playing in India is a wonderful experience for cricketers at all levels and our Visually Impaired squad is no different.
“I am incredibly excited about this group of players. It is the most talented group that I’ve had the opportunity to be involved with.”
“I know that the team will prepare well and perform to the best of their ability – if they do that then we’ll have a great chance to take on the blind cricket powerhouses of India and Pakistan.”
England Visually Impaired Head Coach Ross Hunter said: “I am incredibly excited about this group of players. It is the most talented group that I’ve had the opportunity to be involved with.
“We know that we will need to play two of the best games we’ve ever played to win the tournament and we have the ability within the squad to do that. I think that’s a first for England Visually Impaired cricket, which is fantastic.”
England Visually Impaired squad
Luke Sugg – Warwickshire (captain)
Amin Afshari – Kent
Peter Blueitt – Yorkshire
Matthew Dean – London Metro
Nathan Foy – Warwickshire
Daniel Field – Sussex
Justin Hollingsworth – Warwickshire
Edward Hossell – Somerset
Rory Hossell – Somerset
Gareth Jones – London Metro
Mahomed Khatri – Warwickshire
Simon Ledwith – Sussex
James Millard – Sussex
Matthew Page – London Metro
Mark Turnham – Warwickshire
England World Cup fixtures
31 January 2017 – England v Pakistan
1 February 2017 – England v New Zealand
2 February 2017 – England v India
3 February 2017 – England v Sri Lanka
4 February 2017 – England v South Africa
5 February 2017 – England v Bangladesh
7 February 2017 – England v Nepal
8 February 2017 – England v Australia
9 February 2017 – England v West Indies
11 February 2017 – semi-finals
12 February 2017 – final