Michael Lumb joined players from the 16-man England squad at Edgbaston last week as they began preparations for the first ever T20 World Cup for visually impaired cricketers.
Warwickshire’s Luke Sugg will captain England as they face eight other national teams in Bangalore, India from the 2nd-13th December. Whilst the T20 World Cup will be a first for all players, 16 year old James Millard will also be hoping to make his international debut after showcasing his talent in county and league fixtures for Sussex.
All Countries in the competition will play eight league matches with the top four teams progressing to semi-finals and the final taking place on 13th December.
A squad of 16 players is required due to the rules around sight category specifications of the international game. Each player is graded as a B1, B2 or B3 player which refers to the level of vision they have. The rules state that four B1 players (players who are completely blind and all wear black-out glasses) must be in the starting 11 with the remaining seven players from the B2 (moderately affected vision) or B3 (lesser affected vision) category.
The ECB formally took England Visually Impaired cricket under its umbrella in 2007 and alongside all the England Disability teams, benefit from their own appointed head coach and physiotherapist. All teams are also fully supported throughout international series and have access to the same facilities as all other England teams, including training at the National Cricket Performance Centre at Loughborough.
The team departs for Bangalore on 26th November and play their first match of the competition against Pakistan on Sunday 2nd December.
ECB Head of Disability Cricket Ian Martin said: "The T20 World Cup for visually impaired cricketers marks a huge step forwards in disability cricket. International Boards and disability sport charities around the world have united to make this competition possible. We thank the Cricket Association for the Blind in India for hosting this ground breaking event and hope it is the first of many. All the players and support staff have worked extremely hard to prepare for this first ever T20 World Cup and I wish them all every success."