Brendon Parr: “It’s going to be a great Disability Premier League final.”

Ahead of Wednesday's Disability Premier League final, Pirates star Brendon Parr reflects on his journey in disability cricket and looks ahead to Sky Sports' televised final against the Hawks.

How did you become involved in disability cricket?

Back in 2008, I had a pretty horrific road traffic accident. I was hit by a car while riding a motorbike. I was in intensive care for six weeks, then a wheelchair for the next 12 months. At that point, cricket wasn’t looking great for me. The physios said I’d probably spend 50% of my time in a wheelchair, which obviously wasn’t the news I was hoping to hear.

But I did a lot of rehab and recovery, and seven years later – in 2015 – I returned to the lowest-level cricket just to see how my body would cope. It built up from there. I was doing some winter training in 2022 and a chap called Andrew Buzza – who does a lot of work with George Greenway – saw me, saw the limitations of my left leg, and asked if I’d ever looked at disability cricket. He put me in touch with Richard Hill, I had an assessment at Ageas Bowl in August 2022, and it turned out I was eligible.

How did you progress to the Disability Premier League?

I missed out in 2022 because my assessment was only a week before the DPL began. But I followed all the live streams and footage, and I was determined to be involved from there. It looked absolutely brilliant. In October 2022, Richard Hill invited me to the DPL training camp at Edgbaston. I was blown away by the facilities. In February, the DPL draft was launched. I wasn’t sure if I’d be picked up but, luckily, I was selected by Paul Edwards for the Pirates. From there, everything has just gone unbelievably well.

How do you assess Wednesday’s DPL final?

It’s going to be a great final. I think it will be very close. Our top six batting is really strong, but the Hawks have got some big names in their ranks too. Callum Flynn is one we’ll be looking to get out early because he’ll try to control the game. He’s a star player that we’ll want to see the back of. They’ve got some dangerous bowlers as well. George Greenway has been in good form with bat and ball. The good thing for us is that we played some really good cricket on Sunday, first in a pressure game against the Black Cats and then later on against the Tridents. Two wins in a day is a great way to go into this final.

What’s the secret to the Pirates’ success?

The 15 of us in the squad all get along really, really well. We’re all decent blokes. We play hard on the cricket field and we have some great laughs off of it. That’s been the success of our season and I’m hoping for more of the same on Wednesday.

How exciting is it to be playing on Sky Sports?

Since I was nine years old, it’s been a dream of mine to play at a county ground. To do that at the County Ground, and have it broadcast on Sky Sports… it’s going to be incredible. Certainly this time last year, I couldn’t have imagined this happening. Obviously we know the cameras are there, but I’m feeling OK about that. I’m just really looking forward to getting out there and getting stuck in.

What would you say to cricket fans who haven’t yet seen the DPL?

Don’t miss it on Wednesday! This year the DPL has had some of the country’s most competitive cricket – and the final will be something else entirely. It’s such a tense, close, hard-fought competition.

And do you have a message for people who might be in the same situation you were a few years ago?

Get down to your local clubs, send some emails, and get involved. Disability cricket is a fantastic opportunity. Some of the training camps we’ve had this year, at Loughborough and Edgbaston, plus working with these coaches and physios… it’s the next best thing to professional cricket. Don’t hesitate. Just get involved!

Wednesday's Disability Premier League final between the Hawks and the Pirates is available to watch live on Sky Sports Cricket from 12.25pm.