Matt Page, 24, a student at Brunel University has been selected to play for England in the 17 man Visually Impaired Cricket Squad, who will travel to South Africa to play against some of the best teams from around the world. Speaking to the press, he insists that the Visually Impaired (VI) Cricket team “don’t fear anyone” and are prepared for any challenges they might face.
Page suffers from Stargardt Disease an illness which causes macular degeneration – which is a loss of vision in the centre of the visual field due to retina damage – and causes progressive vision loss.
He has been playing blind cricket for eight years and hopes to make a major impact in the tournament. He also has faith that the team, captained by Matt Dean, can lead England to victory in the tournament.
The international governing body for blind cricket since 1996 is the World Blind Cricket Council (WBCC), which has supported three previous world cups so far, held in New Delhi, Chennai and Islamabad. In addition to this, the first world cup T20 was held in Bangalore in 2006.
In this country, blind cricket has been governed domestically by Blind Cricket England and Wales (BCEW) who aim to deliver an excellent standard of cricket for blind and partially sighted people for everyone, from youth to international standard. They run a number of national and international tournaments aimed at increasing the sport’s profile and the extent of its following fan base.
On behalf of everyone at Brunel University, we wish Matt Page and the rest of the VI Cricket Team the best of luck in South Africa and hope that they are able to showcase their talents on such a massive stage. England will play their first game is on 27 November 2014 when they face Sri Lanka in Cape Town.
Panny Antoniou