MATT’S READY FOR INDIA CLASH
Visually impaired side eager to bounce back after World Cup
HAVING helped England’s visually impaired cricket team reach the final four of the Blind World Cup last year, Hillingdon’s Matt Page is hoping to carry the momentum over as India come to town next month.
Page played his part as England beat Australia en route to reaching the semi-finals of the 2014 Blind Cricket World Cup in November, hosted by South Africa, where they lost to eventual runners-up Pakistan.
That experience left the 24-yearold hungry for more and he will not have to wait long to don his Three Lions shirt again with India – who claimed World Cup glory – arriving for three one-day and three Twenty20 matches next month.
Page, who studied psychology at Brunel University, is champing at the bit to get back out there.
“The World Cup was a great experience and I hit a century against Sri Lanka on my birthday, so that was all right,” said Page, who has Stargardt disease.
“It was a good feeling but I didn’t really think about it too much and I was just trying to concentrate on scoring runs and doing well.
“I was involved in all the games out there, so it was nice to play so much and get some momentum coming into this series with India.
“Overall I was happy with how I went and how the team went and I think we are moving in the right direction.
“When we played India out at the World Cup we showed that they are human because we put in a good performance and caused them a few problems.
“We know their strengths and weaknesses and what we can target, so we can assess that and figure out what we need to do to win the games.
“We wanted to win the World Cup so it’s disappointing not to but I would like to believe we can win every game against India.”
The highlight of the six-game series against India is undoubtedly the first T20 clash that takes place at under the lights at the Oval on May 28.
And Page is hopeful he and his team can make the most of their opportunity to show the nation what visually impaired cricket is all about.
“I think the chance to play at the Oval is fantastic and it’s one that I am really looking forward to and hope it can help raise the profile of disability cricket,” he added.
“I think we are on the right trajectory as a team and I think that’s down to the players and the coaching staff working in the same direction.
“I know what I am training towards for this series and I am hoping to peak at the right time and take every match how it is and go from there.”
Support the England Visually Impaired team by attending a match. Every match is free entry. Alternatively, follow the team at www.ecb.co.uk and on ECB Twitter and Facebook sites. The ECB is an inclusive organisation providing support and a pathway for disability cricket from grassroots to elite.
n ‘GOOD FEELING’: Matt Page