Bradford and Bingley CC have broken new ground this season by hosting two matches involving the England Lions deaf cricket team at Wagon Lane.
Tariq Qureshi, one of the club’s under-13s coaches and a British Sign Level student helped to organise the two day event in collaboration with the ECAD - English Cricket Association for the Deaf.
Keen to develop deaf cricket in the area, Tariq, who also plays for the second and third teams, got in touch with the English Cricket Board and eventually came across Stefan Pichowski, secretary of ECAD. Together they planned the event, which proved to be an immense success.
Day one saw the ECAD Lions play their North regional side in two T20 games, the second being under floodlights with white balls, coloured clothing and black side screens being the order of the day. The ECAD Lions won both games.
Shiv Krishan, Community Inclusion Activator for the Yorkshire Cricket Board attended on day one while Steve Archer, Cricket Development Manager West Yorkshire, YCB, was also present.
Andrew Watson, Director of Development at the YCB, ECAD Chairman Chris Ratcliffe and Mike O’ Mahony, one of many elite players from the full England deaf team was also present on the first day to support the event.
A taster session for children on the first day involved Tariq Qureshi and Shiv Krishan running a softball session in the outdoor nets.
The session, well attended by parents and approximately 18 children including deaf children and hearing siblings, saw the coaches run the kids through a warm up with some basic cricket drills.
It finished with a game of Kwik cricket and the chance to play with some Cricket Factory equipment. The children also met the England Lions deaf team during the break.
Day two included a 40 over game between the ECAD Lions and a Bradford and Bingley Select team. Again, coloured clothing and white balls were used. Adam Swallow, Bradford and Bingley Vice Chairman captained the Bradford side which scoring 347 for five in their allotted 40 overs with the Lions managing 169 for six in reply in a rain affected game.
Tariq said: "All in all it was a fantastic two day tour supported by the YCB, NDCS, Bradnet, Bradford Council, Bradford Deaf Community Association, ECAD and Bradford and Bingley CC."