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The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has reached historic agreements with groups instrumental in the development of cricket for people with all types of disabilities.
The ECB has formed agreements with all organisations which operate and deliver disability programmes, including The BACD, English Federation of Disability Sport (EFDS), The Cricket Federation for People with Disabilities (CFPD), Blind Cricket England and Wales (BCEW) and The England Cricket Association for the Deaf (ECAD).
This will ensure that, for the first time, all Disability Cricket falls under the strategic development and delivery of the ECB under the management of Ian Martin, ECB National Disability Manager.
Speaking at the launch today in the Pavilion at Lord’s, ECB Head of Development, Pete Ackerley said: “We are delighted to welcome representatives from all these bodies to Lord’s today as we sign historic memorandums of understanding which will help to create a clear strategy for disability cricket for the first time."
“I would like to thank everyone involved for their commitment, drive and vision to this project which will serve everyone involved in disability cricket for the future growth of our sport."
Peter Dixon, Vice-Chairman of the ECAD said: “Disability cricket has moved forward significantly since the appointment of Ian as the first National Disability Manager last year including a successful Ashes tour for the England Blind Team in December. We are delighted that we will all be an integral part of the wider cricket family."
Ian Martin, ECB National Disability Manager, said, “Disability Cricket is now an essential part of the ECB’s development programme and it is thanks to the hard work and dedication of the volunteers within the organisations here today, that we are now able to enter formal partnership agreements with these groups to achieve our aim of being the world leader in the delivery of cricket for all."
Matt Dean, Captain of the England Blind Team, also at Lord’s today said: “We have already benefited greatly from being part of the ECB, and evidence of this was in our performance and preparation for the recent Blind Ashes Series in Australia which we won 3-0. Playing for England is the pinnacle of any players career and that disability cricketers can now aspire to these great heights will strengthen the game at all levels."
Colin Chaytors, CEO English Federation of Disability Sport said, "We are pleased to be signing a partnership agreement with English and Wales Cricket Board. We will work on initiatives to develop even more opportunities in cricket for disabled people as: participants, coaches, officials and volunteers."
Gavin Randall, England Learning Disabilities Team, said: “I have benefited hugely from the support given to me by the ECB and their partnership with TASS (Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme). I receive funding for lifestyle management, nutrition advice and strength and conditioning in addition to high quality coaching from professional staff at Hampshire Cricket. I am hoping that this quality of preparation will bear fruit when we leave for Australia for the tri-nations Series later this year”.