Broadbridge Heath cricketer Fred Bridges believes the success of England Physical Disability team’s triumph in the first ever international tournament will grab people’s attention.
Bridges was part of the 15-man squad which won the inaugural Red Cross International T20 Tournament for people with physical disabilities in Bangladesh.
The 24-year-old spinner ensured he shone in the showpiece against Pakistan on September 10 as he was named man of the match after ending with figures of 4-24.
He said: “I was really impressed with all the teams, lots of natural talent, lots of flare, they were not afraid to play their shots, so moving forward the standard was really high,” he said.
“It was inspirational playing on the field as each individual cricketer has a different story to tell.
“The way this tournament has grabbed everyone’s attention both overseas and in England, I see no reason whatsoever that there will not be a World Cup in the next couple of years.
“Hopefully the more publicity we get the more countries come on board and play this game of disability cricket.
“It was a really good experience to travel to the sub-continent to play some really good cricket and come away from the tournament as winners was probably one of the best tournaments in my life really.”
England and Pakistan were the only two countries to field physical disability cricket teams in competitive fixtures prior to this event.
They were joined by India, Afghanistan and hosts Bangladesh at the competition and it’s hoped it leads to a World Cup in the coming years.
England lost their opening game against Bangladesh but went on to beat India, Pakistan and Afghanistan in the group before beating Pakistan once more in the final.
Horsham council sports coach, Bridges added: “It is probably up there as one of the best achievements in cricket personally; obviously making an international debut is something special.
“However, I think to win an international tournament oversees with a group of guys you have been working with for four, five years, you cannot really beat that as an experience.”
To find out more about any of ECB’s four disability programmes, visit www.ecb.co.uk and search disability or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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