Are you looking for a chance to take the match winning wicket or hit that all important boundary for your team?
If so, then disability cricket will knock you for six.
What’s this then?
Disability cricket is a fun and competitive team sport which can be enjoyed by people who have a wide range of impairments.
For years, blind cricket was the only version of the game that catered for people with a disability but recently different variations of the game have been introduced to allow more people to take part than ever before.
Who can play?
The varying versions of disability cricket enable many people to take part and join teams competing at a competitive level.
To make sure everyone’s on a level playing field all players must undergo an eligibility assessment whether that’s at entry-level or at international level.
Eligibility guarantees the presence of a disability that falls within the scope of the systems used by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and take part in the version of the game that suits them best.
You can either play for fun and friendship or challenge yourself further if you’ve got a burning desire to represent your country and take a five-for or hit a fifty at the highest level.
What’s the aim of the game?
Cricket can be quite a complicated game, especially if you’ve never played the game before. Fear not though as the rules are easy to pick up and all forms of disability cricket are similar. The aim is to bowl out or catch your opponents in the field and then score more runs as a team than they did.
In blind cricket the ball is significantly larger than a standard cricket ball and filled with ball bearings. The size allows partially sighted players to see the ball and the contents allow blind players to hear it. The wicket is also larger, to allow partially sighted players to see and blind players to touch it in order to correctly orient themselves when batting or bowling.
There are a number of other subtle changes dependent on the type of disability cricket. For example blind cricket relies on common use of the 'sweep shot', in order to provide maximum chance of the bat hitting the ball.
What do I need to play?
Equipment is provided by the club to make sure you’re safe when playing any form of disability cricket.
Dependent on the form of cricket you play there are special balls and bats ready to give players the best experience possible.
All you need to do is make sure you have comfortable clothes as you could be batting or fielding for a few hours.
Where can I play?
Disability cricket does not receive the funding that other inclusive sports do and is still growing in popularity so it can sometimes be difficult to find a club to play.
The ECB want do everything they can to increase the number of participants and they’ll help you get involved or find a place to play near you. All you need to do is email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Anything else I need to know?
The first ever blind T20 World Cup took place early this year and was won by India who beat Pakistan by 9 wickets in the final.
By the year 2020 who knows where you could be playing if you take to this tremendous team sport.
How do I find out more?
Head over to the ECB website to find out more about their commitment to find a cricket format for you whatever your age or ability.
Finally, we are proud sponsors of the Hampshire’s disability cricket league. They want to see more disabled people playing sport and can help make that dream a reality.
You can email Michael.Pollard@ageasbowl.com for more details.