Last Updated: 21/08/19 9:36am
Matt Askin batting at an England Physical Disability team squad day
The Ashes clash at Headingley is Sky’s Participation Test as we look at inclusion in cricket at a number of levels.
England vs Australia
August 22, 2019, 10:00am
From disability cricket to participation among the South Asian community, as well as a focus on the legacy of England’s dramatic World Cup win and a peek at talented up-and-coming cricketers at the Bunbury Festival, a host of areas will be covered across the match in Leeds.
Check out our features in the videos below and make sure you watch the third Ashes Test for more on participation and inclusion across cricket.
England’s physical disability side
Members of England’s physical disability side reflect on the T20 World Series and the development of PD cricket
As England played in the final of the Physical Disability T20 World Series against India, we caught up with the side, their coach and ECB chief executive Tom Harrison to see how the game is growing. England lost to India in the showpiece game after seeing off Afghanistan in the semis but that only left them more determined go one better next time.
Skipper Iain Nairn hopes disability cricket can be showcased alongside men’s and women’s cricket or at world events so a new audience can see the skills throughout the game, while Harrison explains how PD cricket has developed in the last four years with now over 62,000 players involved in the sport across the country.
All-rounder Liam O’Brien says disabled people in England have a team they can look up to and aspire to be part of, while coach Ian Salisbury champions his players’ talent as well as saying their commitment is “beyond compare”.
We also find out why Matt Askin has become more successful since batting without his prosthetic arm, and the vital role the ECB’s head of disability cricket, Ian Martin, has had in developing and supporting the sport.
The Super 1s initiative
The Lord’s Taverners’ Super 1s scheme helps young people with disabilities improve their skills and well-being and make new friends
“There is no reason disabled people can’t make a huge contribution to cricket. Cricket is a game for everybody and can genuinely change people’s lives.” So says Mark Bond, a programme manager for the Lord’s Taverners’ Super 1s scheme, which has been set up to give disabled people between 12 and 25 the chance to play cricket regularly.
Super 1s was established in London in 2013 but is now active across the country at a host of community cricket hubs, such as the one we visited in York. Young people are able to showcase and boost their skills, improve their mental and physical well-being, meet new people in new environments and engage with positive role models.
Kian, a Super 1s participant, told us: “I have been tested for autism and this has helped me to get my anger out and not lash out and get upset. I am making new friends.” Asked if cricket had changed his life, Kian gave a resounding “yes”!
Bunbury Festival 2019
We visit the Bunbury Festival, a week of cricket for the top under-15 players in the country and a breeding ground for England players of tomorrow
Founded by David English, the 33rd annual Bunbury Festival, which gathers the best under-15 cricketers in the country for a week of cricket, was held at Felsted School in Essex with Bunbury alumnus and England’s all-time leading Test run-scorer, Alastair Cook, in attendance.
“It is an extraordinary week in your life,” says Cook of the experience, which pits regional teams from the North, Midlands, London and East, and South and West against each other. The festival breeds England players of the future with no less than nine of England’s World Cup-winning XI having played at the event. But who were the stars of the 2019 edition?
We followed the players’ progress as well as heard from English, who also told an anecdote from a previous Bunbury Festival, which featured Ben Stokes, Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow, Perri Perri Sauce, a glass of cola and a rendition of Sweet Caroline atop a counter!
Wellbeing of Women
The Sir Victor Blank cricket pro-am match has now raised more than £8m for the charity Wellbeing of Women. Here’s how the event panned out in its 31st year
Every year at his Oxfordshire home, Sir Victor Blank hosts a pro-am cricket match to raise funds for Wellbeing of Women, a charity that invests in research into women’s health.
The stars were out at the 31st running of the day, with Brian Lara, Andrew Strauss and our very own Michael Atherton playing. “I have been coming here a long time now,” said Athers. “It raises a significant amount of money every year. It’s a great day.”
Sir Victor’s annual celebrity match has now generated more than £8million for Wellbeing of Women, while allowing fans to play alongside their idols and old cricketing pals to catch up. Ex-England man Phil DeFreitas scored the winning six this time around but how did Athers view his dismissal?
Watch day one of the third Ashes Test between England and Australia, at Headingley, live on Daily Week Sports The Ashes (channel 404) and Main Event (channel 401) from 10am on Thursday.
You can also follow over-by-over commentary and in-play clips on our rolling blog on skysports.com and the Daily Week Sports app.