Gosport star ready to go on the attack

James Vince. Picture: Sarah Standing (170455-8793)

Vince relishing ‘second chance’

0
Have your say

Matt Page insists England’s visually impaired team don’t fear anyone as they prepare to head out to the Blind World Cup.

The Gosport star is part of a 17-man squad that will fly to South Africa next month to take on the best teams from around the globe, starting with Sri Lanka on November 27.

The 24-year-old, who has Stargardt disease, has been playing visually impaired cricket for eight years and is hoping to make a real impact at the tournament.

However, with the likes of India and Pakistan also vying for the title of world champions, Page knows it is going to be a tough task.

But he sees no reason why England can’t make history and claim their first-ever Blind World Cup crown.

Page said: ‘We only meet up once a month.

‘We do our training out of that time, so it can be difficult to find your rhythm with each other sometimes.

‘I don’t really fear any opposition, you go into it and you’ve got to be the aggressor and be confident in your own abilities and the abilities of your team-mates.

‘Within the last decade, the names of Pakistan and India are bound to crop up – they have been the ones who have found the most form.

‘Especially with the talent pool they’ve got out there.

‘With 10, 20 or 50 times more players who are participating, they are bound to find a few good players.

‘I’d love to win it but we know how hard that would be.

‘I think a good performance would be getting to the final.’

For Page, being part of the England set-up is not just about winning – it is the chance to share experiences with people who he might not have had the chance to meet otherwise.

And for that reason, he is relishing the trip to South Africa.

‘I got forwarded an email when I was at college and it all went from there really,’ he added.

‘Now I have the chance to meet people who are going through the same kind of things as I am.

‘You meet more people than you would normally and you can’t go wrong with a trip to South Africa.

‘It’s a massive experience, absolutely superb.

‘I played in the Twent20 World Cup in India and we had a great time out there getting to the semi-finals.

‘We have moved on a lot since then, manager-wise, player-wise and we are always looking forward.

‘There’s still a bit of fine tuning to do but overall we are coming along.’

n ECB is an inclusive organisation providing support and a pathway for disability cricket from grassroots to elite. Follow England’s visually impaired squad in South Africa at ecb.co.uk