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Hassan Khan recieving his first England cap on the recent tour to Sri Lanka

England Blind Cricket Team Enter New Era

Sunday March 25th 2007

Following the England blind cricket team's third place finish in the 2006 blind cricket world cup the team have made a number of changes for 2007.

Firstly Rory Field has been appointed as the teams new coach and a mainstream cricket coach is to be appointed in the coming months to work alongside Rory. This comes after Andy Sellins who had coached the team for a number of years decided to step aside and allow others to build on the excellent work he has done in establishing England's position in the world top three.

Team administrator Miles Northwood told us: "International blind cricket in England and Wales has just stepped in to a new age. There are no names written in even the lightest of pencil on any bits of paper any where for selection in to the England squad for this summers series against India. There's an new management structure, a new coach, A whole new setup to impress and convince that your skills and attitude warrant a place at the elite end of blind cricket."

England’s first series under the new coach will be a 4 match series against India which takes place in late August.

New coach Rory Field said: “We have an exciting time lying ahead with two home series against India and the West Indies and an away Ashes series in Australia over the next 16 or so months. The time that we have available to spend together as a squad once a squad is established is very limited but it is imperative that we combine getting the most out of this time as a squad with developing the game as this is the only way that England is going to move forward in the medium to long term.

“The three initial ‘trial’ weekends has this philosophy in mind and will hopefully give maximum opportunity for experienced and aspirant players alike to improve skills and exhibit their potential and talent. It is therefore also important that all interested players give themselves optimum opportunity by attending the maximum number of weekends available to them, ideally all of them. We are not planning on inviting some people to some weekends and alternate attendees on other weekends. We would like everyone to be at all three."

These three trial weekends are:

Saturday and Sunday March 31st and April 1st
Saturday and Sunday April 21st and 22nd
Saturday and Sunday May 5th and 6th

Any player interested in attending these training weekends hould get in touch with the team management as soon as possible. Even if you can't make the trial weekends if you are interested in playing for England you should still get in touch to make the management aware that you are available for selection.

Please either contact coach Rory Field, team manager Peter Sugg or team administrator Miles Northwood if you have their contact details.

If you don't please e-mail: using the subject line: England Squad, please put your contact details and whatever you wish to tell the team management in your e-mail and this e-mail will be automatically forwarded on to Rory Field and one of the management team will get in touch with you.

World Blind Cricket Council Announce Change of World Cup Venue
The World Blind Cricket Council has announced the third blind cricket world cup will now take place in Islamabad, Pakistan between December 4th and 16th 2006.

All 8 member countrys are expected to take part and they are: Australia, England, India, New Zealand, defending champions Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka and new comers West Indies.

The tournament along with the WBCC's AGM were scheduled to take place in South Africa but after organisational problems Pakistan stepped in to host both the World Cup and AGM without having to change the planned dates for the events.

WBCC Secretary General Geoff Smith stated: "The World Blind Cricket Council would like to take this opportunity to thank the Pakistan Government, the Pakistan Cricket Board and the Pakistan Blind Cricket Council for their immense efforts in offering to host this event."

England will prepare for the tournament with a 4 match series against Pakistan taking place in Worcester from May 27th to 31st followed by seven more training weekends in the months leading up to the tournament.

England confirm summer series
England are to follow up their successful tour to Sri Lanka with four tests against Pakistan during May. The four tests will be played within a five day period and will all be in the Worcestershire area.

Victoria win 28th Australian Blind Cricket Championships
Victoria defeated Queensland to win the 28th Australian Blind Cricket Championships on 11th January 2006 at the Churchie Ground. In a closely fought match between the two top teams in the championships, Victoria set a challenging target of 154, which Queensland were unable to reach. Despite Queensland being 128/5 they eventually succombed to lose by 13 runs.
To reach the final, the two teams had to battle through a group stage with three other teams, New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory and Manakau South. Each team played eight games over an intense two week period to create a league table, from which the top two teams would contest the final.
From the league, Victoria were the overall champions, with twice as many points as third placed New South Wales, setting them up for their sensational final victory. Queensland also made the final quite comfortably, with an eleven point gap back to NSW in third.
A full list of results and statistics from the whole tournament can be found of the offical website of the games Here, which is part of the Queensland official website.

Sri Lanka claim consolation win as England take series
Having already won their three match series in Sri Lanka, England gave debuts to Dan Field and Hassan Khan in the third game, as well as giving Sam Murray his first bowl. Sri Lanka set an imposing 306 on a tough pitch with short boundaries and England were never really on top in their run chase, eventually losing by 17 runs.     [More | Scorecard ]

England claim series win in 'closest ever' test
In the second game of their three match series the action moved to Colombo. England were inserted and made full use of their chance to bat first, ammassing 379 including a massive partnership of 246 between Field and Sugg. Sri Lanka chased well and were agonisingly short of reaching their target, but their 3 run loss gives England an unassailable 2-0 series lead.
[More | Scorecard ]

England victorious in first Sri Lanka test
England got off to a great start on their tour of Sri Lanka with a comfortable victory in the first test. Sri Lanka's first innings of 363 may have seemed impressive but England were not to be overawed and the top order all contributed, along with Rory Field's 173* on debut, to England getting home with six overs to spare. [More | Scorecard ]

England set for Sri Lanka challenge
After the cancellation of the planned England tour of Pakistan a new tour has been arranged in Sri Lanka. A 14 man squad will travel and the squad has a mixture of youth and experience. More information and the full squad can be found Here
For an up to date day by day review of the tour Nathan Foy's Tour Diary can be found here.

World Blind Cricket Council celebrates 10th anniversary
The World Blind Cricket council celebrates it's tenth anniversary in 2006 with a World Cup scheduled for later this year. This made it's AGM in November 2005 one of it's more important meetings.
Among the ites on the agenda were the the inclusion of the West Indies into the WBCC and a progress report into the state of Blind Cricket both in the West Indies and in Zimbabwe, where the game continues to grow.
A full summary of the events of the AGM written by Geoff Smith, the WBCC Secretary General, is Here.

Swanepoel becomes new England captain
Heindrich Swanepoel has been appointed the new captain of the England blind cricket team after the resignation of Adam Benjamin.
Heindrich was born in South Africa but has lived in the South of England for more than 15 years and for more than a decade has been one of this countries most powerful batsmen and fastest and most accurate bowlers.
The experienced B2 all rounder is the third captain of the England side following Metro team-mates Dave Samuels and Adam Benjamin.
His main job as captain will be to prepare the side to be ready to challenge for the third blind cricket world cup which takes place at the end of 2006.

How England won the Blind Cricket ashes
The 2004 Blind Cricket Ashes series was one of the most exciting series the International Team have been involved in. You can relive the action with Scorecards and Reports Here


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