Island Boys Selected for England Learning Disabilities Cricket Team
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The England Learning Disability Cricket Team fly out to Melbourne on November 27 to compete in the 3rd Tri-Nations tournament against South Africa and Australia.
With a current batting average of 39.25 all eyes will be on Manchester’s Chris Edwards, England’s top batsman, to perform well. Meanwhile, Tom Savage, one of the country’s most promising young learning disability cricketers, will be joining the rest of the team after having come into the England set-up just 3 months ago. Originally from Northampton, Savage attended a live-in residential school in Sussex and played in mainstream cricket bowling off spin, before being noticed by the England selectors.
The side will be captained by Hampshire born Gavin Randall whose father Les Randall will also be travelling with the team in his role as assistant coach.
Gavin Randall (Capt) Hampshire
Pete Brown Isle of Wight
Danny West (Wk) Hampshire
Lee Jay Hampshire
Lee Stenning Essex
John Taylor Yorkshire
Mark O’Brien Cheshire/Wirral
Chris Edwards Cheshire/Wirral
Kyle Topping Lancashire
James Dickens Somerset
Allun Hughes Yorkshire
Jonny Simpson Lancashire
Doug Randall Isle of Wight
Tom Savage Northamptonshire
James Higgins Hampshire
National Disability Cricket Manager Ian Martin has every faith in the side: “This team has been two years in the making and a lot of hard work has gone into developing the players’ skills and building team spirit. As well as competing in the 2009 County Championship for Physical and Learning Disabilities the players have met for regular training sessions in Portsmouth and Manchester over the past few months. I am confident that if we perform to our best of our ability we will have a good chance of doing well in the Series”.
England’s first game is on December 3 against Australia at the Junction Oval, Melbourne with the final being held on December 10 at the same ground.
During the tournament they will face both teams twice in a points based league, with the top two teams going head to head. Previous finals have both been between Australia and South Africa, but this year England are confident they will reach the final stages to bring back the trophy.