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England Visually Impaired team set for Australia tour

Picture of the England team that won the International Committee of the Red Cross T20 tournament in Bangladesh
Picture of the England team that won the International Committee of the Red Cross T20 tournament in Bangladesh
©Firoz Ahmed / ICRC
 

The England and Wales Cricket Board have marked International Day of Persons with Disabilities (3rd December) by confirming that the England Visually Impaired team will tour Australia in January.

The 15-man squad will play their Australian counterparts in five 40-over matches and three Twenty20 games in Adelaide.

Australia VI v England VI

22nd January: 1st T20
23rd January: 1st ODI
24th January: 2nd ODI
26th January: 3rd ODI
27th January: 4th ODI
29th January: 5th ODI
30th January: 2nd T20
31st January: 3rd T20

Both sides will compete for the Lord's Taverners International Blind Cricket Series.

England will be led by Luke Sugg, ECB Disability Cricketer Of The Year, in the T20s with Matt Dean taking charge for the ODIs.

Today's announcement comes at the end of a year in which disability cricket in England and Wales has made huge progress, including England's victory at the recent World Cup for physical disabiililty cricketers in Bangladesh.

The Visually Impaired side was last in action against India in the summer but for this series London Metro pair Amit Amin and Mark Bond return to the squad.

Mark Turnham makes a return after five years out of the game and Kent's Amin Afshari is poised to make his debut.

Afshari, 27, is completely blind and has already represented Great Britain in athletics and goalball but has now made the switch to cricket, following an open day in November 2014 run by Kent coaches.

Coach Ross Hunter is looking forward to leading the team in Australia.

"This is the strongest team that I have had the pleasure to select," he said.

"The players have been chosen based on the quality of their skill, their commitment to self-improvement and their devotion to the team.

"There were some very difficult decisions and some very good cricketers unfortunately missed out.

"It is with pleasure that we have welcomed players back to the squad and given opportunities to some exciting new prospects.

"A series between England and Australia is always going to be tough, the players are looking forward to the challenge."

England Visually Impaired squad: Matt Dean (ODI captain), Luke Suggs (T20 captain), Amin Afshari, Amit Amin, Peter Blueitt, Mark Bond, Rob Comber, Dan Field, Justin Hollingsworth, Ed Hossell, Hassan Khan, Mahommed Khatri, Si Ledwith, James Millard, Mark Turnham

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