The ECB’s Head of Disability Cricket, Ian Martin, believes Worcestershire will play a major role in showcasing the sport as part of a June 10 doubleheader at New Road.
The England Disability side will face the Lord’s Taverners in a T20 game ahead of the Vitality Blast encounter between Worcestershire Rapids and Derbyshire Falcons.
It is the first time the England Disability team have taken part in such a venture where one of their matches is followed on the same day by a major competitive fixture.
Martin is hoping Rapids and Falcons fans will take the opportunity also to view the skills of the Disability players who are the cream of a sport which is expanding rapidly.
He said: “It is hugely significant for disability cricket because it is an opportunity to showcase the skills of our disabled players in the national squad.
“It is never a disappointment playing at New Road. What a beautiful venue.
“It is brilliant for our players to showcase their talent at such a wonderful venue and against a Lord’s Taverners XI, which we know is going to be really, really strong.
“What we hope from the day is that supporters will come in a little bit earlier to catch our game and then stay at New Road for the Blast game against Derbyshire Falcons in the evening.
“A great chance to attract more people to disability cricket? It’s really important we use this opportunity to showcase the talents of disabled people and to show the paying public that disabled people can play cricket to a really high level.
“Disability sport is often quite limited by the Paralympics. People just think the Paralympics is the be all and end all.
“What we can show here is that talented people with a disability can pursue their sporting inspirations through the sport of cricket.”
The England Disability side versus the Lord’s Taverners match gets underway at 1pm, with the Rapids-Falcons Vitality Blast encounter beginning at 5.30pm.
Martin has been in his ECB role since 2007 and is delighted with the way disability cricket is blossoming.
He said: “The main thrust of my role is to be a strategic lead for the disabled game, but I also look after the management of four England squads for blind, deaf, physical disabilities and learning disabilities and the pathway that sits underneath them.
“This year, we are launching the Disability Premier League, which is a new competition for our most talented disabled players.
“Beneath that, we’ve got a domestic league system that is growing year on year for physical and learning disabled players, and we’ve also got a National Blind Cricket League.”
Tickets for the Worcestershire Rapids vs Derbyshire Falcons Vitality Blast Fixture includes entry for the England PD XI vs Lord’s Taverners.
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