IM this article to a friend!

December 27, 2005

England Deaf team look for recruits

From: - London,UK - Dec 27, 2005

The England Deaf Cricket team are to begin a recruitment drive to find more players as they look to build on their success at the second Deaf Cricket World Cup in India.

England reached the final of the nine-team tournament before losing out to the hosts and are now aiming to further improve standards as they prepare to host a series against Pakistan in August 2006.

Australia have also expressed a keen desire to compete for the Ashes in England during the summer of 2007, meaning officials at the England Cricket Association for the Deaf (ECAD) know they cannot afford to rest on their laurels.

ECAD chairman and England batsman Mike O’Mahony said: “Looking back on the tour, it will prove a watershed for many of the players as they respond to the standards that the tour presented, and knowing what is needed to become world champions.

“It is hoped that this exposure to the climate, the pressures and challenges will enable them to improve their game. Indeed, the Australians fielded no less than seven cricketers with first grade experience and one full New South Wales State representative.

“Pakistan had three current first class cricketers in their line-up and India had two. All were positively aggressive in everything they did, creating the platform to perform with greater freedom with the bat and create more pressure with the ball.

“It became a game of mental and physical discipline, which the stronger teams in the tournament, including England, were better equipped to win.”

England reached the final with a thrilling victory over old rivals Australia, which made up for a last-over defeat against the same opponents during the group stage, but their joy at that win was tempered by their disappointment at a 79-run defeat in the final.

It was still a fine achievement by England though, and O’Mahony commented: “England can look back with pride on finishing second in the World Cup, in a foreign continent with the challenges that it brings on and off the pitch, and against teams asking different questions of the players in every game.

“Undoubtedly, this will be tinged with the disappointment that, unlike the semi-final, we did not play to our full potential in the final. Clearly, when we do, we are capable of beating anyone as the two games against Australia showed.”

The overall standard of play at the World Cup was much improved since the first tournament in 1996 and England know they must continue to develop if they are to keep up with their rivals.

“The top four countries in the tournament clearly show that the standard of the game has risen immeasurably since the first World Cup in 1996,” added O’Mahony.

“South Africa and Bangladesh are also showing signs of developing rapidly. All countries will continue to develop, with the right support and backing, and England cannot therefore rest on its laurels.

“All the players will need to work to improve their skills with the helpful guidance of the coaches and management team. In addition, a recruitment drive to find more good players is also needed to raise the standard and depth of the England side.

“It is imperative that the England team moves forward and is ready for the physical and mental challenges to compete and win.”

Copyright 2004-2006 ECB