England and Warwickshire all-rounder Luke Sugg has become the first player to take eight wickets in an innings of a blind cricket match held in the UK.
Sugg's eight for 26 came last weekend during Warwickshire Bears' Blind Cricket England and Wales (BCEW) National League match against Yorkshire Vikings at OffChurch Cricket Club in Leamington Spa.
The 26-year-old 2014-15 ECB England Disability Cricketer of the Year has made over 50 appearances for England Visually Impaired and was previously named Partially Sighted Player of the Year by BCEW in 2010, 2013 and 2014.
Sugg’s record-breaking figures included taking two catches off his own bowling, as well as claiming all five dismissals as Yorkshire collapsed from 55 for two to 65 for seven.
Fittingly, he also claimed the final two wickets of the match – the second time in the innings that he took wickets with successive deliveries.
Reflecting on his record-breaking feat as well as Warwickshire’s 172-run victory, Sugg said: “It’s a proud moment for me as a player to take this record. It was one of those days where everything seemed to just be on my side.
“Gerald Porter, Nathan Foy and Justin Hollingsworth scored fifties with the bat to set us on our way to the win. With the runs on the board, I knew I just had to keep my line and make the batsmen play.”
“Between innings there was a quick burst of rain, which gave the pitch a bit of zip – my ideal. I was chomping at the bit to get that ball in my hand and see if I could do some damage. The first few deliveries zipped through nicely, and the batsmen played and missed a couple. Once I took one, I knew I had to just keep making the batsmen play.
“To come away with eight wickets is just fantastic. I wasn’t aware that it was a record, which makes it all the better. I’d like to thank my teammates for supporting me, and especially Justin for continuing to back me with the ball. Hopefully this will be a kick-starter for the Bears this season!”
BCEW Chairman Dave Gavrilovic added: “This is an extraordinary achievement by Luke, one that might never be bettered. The fact that it took place during his first match of the season makes it all the more remarkable.
“There are now 22 teams across 19 counties with over 400 players in total playing blind cricket and I hope Luke’s incredible performance will help inspire even more players to take up the game.”