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Disability Cricket: A £2 million game-changing ECB and Lord’s Taverners’ partnership

In wake of promoting inclusivity and diversity in cricket, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and Lord’s Taverners has committed a £2 million partnership to ensure disability cricket accessible in every county in England and Wales.

The game-changing partnership is said to be the biggest investment into a disability cricket programme and is a way forward to make the sport more inclusive. The scheme will be run by the Lord’s Taverners.

The Lord’s Taverners South Africa which was founded in 2016 aims to enrich the lives of disabled and disadvantaged young children across the country using sport and recreation as the driving force and, through programmes like Table Cricket, an adapted version of the sport played on table tennis tables.

“This partnership is a true game-changer for the Taverners. This is the largest investment by a cricket board into a disability-specific programme and to work with the ECB is an incredible honour,” former England captain and current and Lord’s Taverners President, David Gower, said.

“The charity’s work has proved life-changing for so many participants and we’re very excited about the opportunity to bring our work to young people in every county across the country,” he added.

The landmark partnership will witness the Super 1s disability cricket programme launched in every county. It is currently available in 20 of the 39 counties. The programme will improve the sustainability of table cricket, which will lead to an increase in participation, encourage social change and empower thousands of young people. The game will enhance the individuals to fulfil their potential and build life skills through the sport.

The new programmes will have been launched in Worcestershire, Northumberland, Devon, Wiltshire and an Eastern Counties project (Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire) by the end of 2021. It intends of being active in every county by 2024.

“We’re committed to making cricket as inclusive and diverse as possible and this partnership will be a big driving force towards that. “Bringing the Super 1s to every county really will change lives. It’s a fantastic way to increase accessibility and show that cricket can be a game for everyone,” Nick Pryde, Director of Participation and Growth at the ECB, said.

The programme enables young people with disabilities to engage in cricket and not just that it improves the physical and mental wellbeing of the young players. It gives them a sense of belonging, strengthens the team spirits, provides them with a network of friends which boost their confidence and make them independent. 

As the disability activists are proactively raising their voices and striving hard on individual level, their voices are being heard. In the recent developments in India, the Differently-Abled Cricket Council of India (DCCI) has been formed, a move that could pave way for the physically challenged cricketers to play with the support of BCCI. The move was nothing less than making history as it attempts to make the game inclusive and diverse. 

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