Ian Nairn talks us through the latest goings on
Team: England Physical Disability Role: Captain What’s happening with the England physical disability team at the moment? We’re going to be back with a vengeance with a full winter programme of training in October where we’ll be working with the England Lions, and we’ve got some external coaches coming in to help. Julian Wood will come back in and do some work on powerhitting with us, and we’ve got some wicketkeeping and fielding coaches coming in as well to help us raise our game to the next level. Do you have any competitions on the horizon? The plan is that there will be a series at home next July, probably against India or Bangladesh. It’ll be fantastic to showcase our sport with an international series in the UK. It’ll be nice not having to trek off to the Sub-continent or to Dubai, and we’ll hopefully get the media involved so people can have a look at what we do. Next year will be a good trial run for the 2019 World Cup and a great opportunity to tell the world ‘come and have a watch’ of some entertaining cricket, and that’s what we’ll look to do. This year we’ve been making sure when we leave a ground there are people saying ‘wow, what have I just seen?’ And making sure we are a credit to the England shirt. How has the team developed over the summer? It’s been a season of big progress for us, we’ve seen the first full summer where we’ve had a full-time coach in Ian Salisbury, and that’s definitely brought its benefits. There’s been a much higher level of organisation and planning, and it helps advertise our game as well – we’re now just starting to see people showing a real interest in what we’re doing and how we go about it. Our big goal is the World Cup in 2019, to be held alongside the men’s Cricket World Cup over here, and so it’s good that we’ve got some young talent coming through who don’t look out of place, and will only get better with the coaching that we’ve got. We’ve even seen James Kirtley being involved as well. It’s great to have two Test-match cricketers as your coaching staff and two who’ve been involved at the highest level in the game just about. Both of them were involved in the women’s World Cup win so it’s fantastic to have that calibre of coaching, and it just adds so much to what we can learn. Do you think disability cricket is growing in England? We had our first ever proper inter-disability game in August. On the physical disability side, when we left Bangladesh in 2015 we had a team of 11 and that 11 played every game, it was pretty much all the disabled cricketers in the country. What we had in the middle of August was a game between two full physical disability sides, all English qualified, two teams of 12 out, and to have that shows how much the game is coming on.