MATT’S READY FOR IN­DIA CLASH

Vis­ually im­paired side ea­ger to bounce back af­ter World Cup

Harefield Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - by Joanna Pendle­ton tms-sport@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

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.

Photo by Getty Images

n ‘GOOD FEEL­ING’: Matt Page

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