Dis­abil­ity

The Cricket Paper - - NEWS - CHRIS ED­WARDS Eng­land LD cap­tain and open­ing bats­man, 24

It’s been a suc­cess­ful sum­mer for Eng­land’s Learn­ing Dis­abil­ity side

Back in July, Eng­land Learn­ing Dis­abil­ity won both the 40-over and T20 el­e­ments of the INAS Tri-Se­ries, end­ing un­beaten in both for­mats, and then pa­raded the tro­phy at Lord’s. Skip­per Chris Ed­wards re­flects on an in­cred­i­ble sum­mer and the fu­ture.

Eng­land cricket has had a great sum­mer, what have you made of it?

It has been a fab­u­lous sum­mer – it is fan­tas­tic that ev­ery team is recog­nised in the same light and to show how strong we all are. It has been great to show the English pub­lic how suc­cess­ful the English game has be­come; not only dis­abil­ity cricket but the women win­ning the World Cup, too.

You were able to pa­rade the Tri-Se­ries tro­phy at Lord’s, how spe­cial was that?

That was a great mo­ment, it was just the ic­ing on the cake and a great re­ward for all the hard work ev­ery­body has put in. It has been one of the busiest sum­mers for all of us for a very long time and to end it at the home of cricket was a great mo­ment.

How did it feel to walk around the Home of Cricket?

I was a bit ner­vous but also very ex­cited, too. The main worry for me was mak­ing sure I didn’t fall over! I didn’t want to make a meal of my­self at Lord’s – that would’ve been em­bar­rass­ing. Get­ting round in one piece in the rain was fan­tas­tic.

Win­ning the Tri-Se­ries was a phe­nom­e­nal achieve­ment, how spe­cial is the team you have?

Ev­ery sin­gle one of them are ab­so­lutely bril­liant. They are all am­bas­sadors in their own lo­cal areas and are a credit to their county teams and lo­cal clubs too. They all have that pas­sion for cricket and all share the love of the game. That is very im­por­tant in how we work.

How do you keep the mo­men­tum go­ing over the win­ter?

We’ve al­ready started back up in train­ing and it’s all about keep­ing the con­fi­dence go­ing un­til we head to Bris­bane for the next Tri-Se­ries in two years’ time. It has been a very pos­i­tive sum­mer and ev­ery­one has been get­ting ex­cited, so it’s now about how we han­dle that pos­i­tiv­ity and the pres­sure that comes with suc­cess.

Do you have any per­sonal goals for the next cou­ple of years?

The aim is to keep push­ing my­self and play to the best stan­dard I pos­si­bly can. That for me is the most sat­is­fy­ing as­pect. I was quite happy with my per­for­mances dur­ing the Tri-Se­ries but I al­ways want to do more for the coun­try.

Can you re­mem­ber a bet­ter sum­mer for LD cricket?

I can’t think of a bet­ter year for learn­ing dis­abil­ity cricket, apart from maybe the TriSeries win in 2011. This has been built from that and it’s just got big­ger and big­ger. I can­not wait to see how much it can con­tinue to grow over time.

How do you hope to see learn­ing dis­abil­ity cricket grow in the next five years?

I’d like to see more na­tions get in­volved.We have got to start pro­mot­ing it in our coun­try as well as in South Africa and Aus­tralia where the game is more es­tab­lished but I’d like to see more coun­tries take part and one day have a World Cup – that’s the dream.

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