CRICKET: Head coach impressed with Foy’s return to England side

Nathan Foy
Nathan Foy

Visually impaired team prepare for home series with India

Head coach Ross Hunter admits he has been impressed with Rugby’s Nathan Foy’s application after seamlessly returning to the England Visually Impaired Cricket team for their home series with India.

The way Nathan Foy is hitting the ball at the moment it doesn’t look like he has been out of an England shirt for very long

Ross Hunter, head coach to the England visually impaired cricket team

All-rounder Foy has not played for England since 2010 after deciding to take some time away to spend time with his family.

But he has since made the decision to step back into the spotlight, rejoining the squad ahead of three ODIs and three T20s against world champions India.

The first match takes place on May 24 with England looking to maintain their momentum after reaching the semi-finals at last year’s Blind World Cup.

And Hunter knows Foy, who was disability cricketer of the year in 2009, will prove a useful addition with both bat and ball.

“He has completely thrown himself back in and he has fitted in incredibly well with the group even though it has changed a lot,” he said.

“It’s a different place now to when he was involved but I think he thrives on it even more and I think he could be a B1 that could score a 100.

“He has scored 100s and double 100s for England in the past and we need runs so he can potentially do that.

“The way he is hitting the ball at the moment it doesn’t look like he has been out of an England shirt for very long.

“It’s impressive that he’s back and also he is a high quality B1 bowler that will get the ball to move.

“He is a solid worker in the field so it is great to welcome him back and just to push the group along in terms of B1s.”

India will arrive in England with a strong pedigree in all formats of the game and backed by a large pool of talent from across the country.

The number of visually impaired players in England in comparison is drastically less but Hunter believes the opportunity to go toe-to-toe with the world champions, including during one T20 game under the lights at the Oval, will only benefit the growth of the sport.

“We go in with humility because we know we have a lot to learn from them because they are a great cricketing nation,” he added.

“With India and Pakistan the numbers are hugely in their favour because they have got 2,000 people playing the game.

“We have got about 25 playing the game domestically so the odds are stacked against us.

“But being an underdog is not a bad place to be. We want more people playing this game and get experience about what it is like so to have a home series gives people those opportunities.”

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.