Wednesday, April 24, 2024

ECB: England Disabilities Performance Manager Jane Powell looks to the future

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Photo Credit: ECB

After a narrow 3-2 series defeat in India for the England Men’s Physical Disability team, Jane Powell says the squad will move forward with confidence.

“Overall, I was very pleased.” That’s the message from England Disabilities Performance Manager Jane Powell as she reflected on a successful two-week tour of India for the England Men’s Physical Disability team.

“We haven’t played any international fixtures since 2019, so we had no real idea of where we stood,” said Powell. “India are the current world champions but, once we got out there, we could see we were at their standard. It was very rewarding and I came back feeling positive.”

England lost the first two fixtures by 49 and 35 runs respectively before taking out the third match with a 22-run victory. A 19-run defeat in the fourth match denied England any chance of a series victory, but the visitors left on a high after securing another 22-run triumph in the final fixture in Ahmedabad.

Powell said: “There were two games that we could and should have won, but we beat them in two others and finished off with a victory at the Narendra Modi Stadium. That’s what they’re going to remember: that they lost to us in the last game they played against us.

“I was delighted with the boys’ fight and tenacity. They kept going right until the very end. India were telling us they were going to win 5-0, so I think our performances will give them a few concerns.”

Powell also insists the squad will now benefit from a series of important lessons on and off the field, including how to deal with conditions significantly different to a typical UK environment.

She said: “It helps us to see what we need to work on. The wickets are obviously so different, so it’s really important that we practice in the right way. Balls keep low and skip through, so you can’t play a lot of cross bat shots. You’ve got to bend your knees and get down, but for some of our players that’s just impossible because of their disability. So now we can think ‘right, how do we adapt it? What can they do? What will their attacking shot be?’

“Our performance analysts also now have so much video footage on all of India’s players, so we’ll be much better prepared next time.”

She added: “The majority of our squad hadn’t toured before, never mind toured in India. We’ve now got that collective experience and we know we can beat them. We could see straight away that we’ve got athletic players, fit players, and a variation of players that gives us everything we need to take the game on in the next series.

“Ben Sutton bowled superbly and really put the pressure on the Indians. Liam O’Brien, another youngster, scored some big runs. And Sammy Kumar, who played in the first game but not in the other, is even more determined to play next time around.”

All players involved in this tour will now turn their attention towards the 2024 Disability Premier League, while Powell starts to focus on this summer’s England Men’s Deaf series against India and a winter tour of Australia for England Men’s Blind team.

England Men’s Physical Disability Team India Tour Results

Sunday 28 January, India won by 49 runs 

Tuesday 30 January, India won by 35 runs 

Thursday 1 February, England won by 22 runs

Saturday 3 February, India won by 19 runs

Tuesday 6 February, England won by 22 runs

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