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Blind cricket reaches new shores
Around the Academy:

Desmond Haynes
Haynes will face the England blind cricket team
Blind cricket is heading for the Caribbean with the West Indies about to set up their first team.

The England blind cricket team and former stars Desmond Haynes and Devon Malcolm will help the move which will increase the sport's growing international network.

Also assisting is the London Community Cricket Association, which set up and coached the England team.

England blind cricket team coach Andy Sellins said: "West Indies is one of only two Test playing nations not to have a blind team.

Devon Malcolm
The blind players impress Malcolm

"But the island is mad keen on cricket and I know the idea of the game being played by blind and visually impaired players really grips people's imaginations."

England star Tim Gutteridge agreed: "Such is the enthusiasm out there I'm sure they'll be beating us in a few years.

"But it goes beyond sport as it will help those with a disability and those without the opportunities to develop and maximise their talents."

There are few better equipped to help achieve that goal - Gutteridge was voted Player of the Tournament in last year's Blind Cricket World Cup in India.

Coaching sessions for young and adult players will be held across the island and cricket clothing, equipment and coaching material will also be supplied.

The trip will also feature a match between the England team and a team of past and present West Indian players skippered by Haynes.

The legendary batsman said: "With such a rich history of cricket success in the West Indies, it makes perfect sense for us to finally have our own blind team."

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Blind cricket basics
1. The ball is full of ball bearings so players can hear it
2. Stumps are brightly coloured so partially sighted players can see them
3. Teams are made up of 4 blind (B1), 3 partially blind (B2) and 4 partially sighted (B3) players
B1 batsmen have runners, B2 batsmen have the option
4. The wicket keepers tell team-mates where the stumps are
Open Quote
It makes perfect sense for us to finally have our own blind team
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Desmond Haynes

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