The successes of the four English disability cricket squads were celebrated at a Parliamentary reception recently (17th September 2012).

Sports Minister Hugh Robertson was guest of honour at the event, which was also attended by the England and Wales Cricket Board’s chief executive David Collier and MPs from the All Party Cricket Group

The event recognised the achievements of disabled cricketers from the England Physical Disability, England Learning Disability, England Deaf and England Blind squads, and each squad captain received a commemorative picture from Robertson to mark the occasion.

All four squads are benefiting from the introduction of a national strategy for disability cricket, which has helped to create a 9% increase in participation recorded last year across the wider club network and 43,000 disabled children given opportunities to play through the Chance to Shine programme.

Robertson said: “I congratulate the work of the ECB and the England Disability Cricket squads for their achievements to date. It’s fantastic that the ECB is increasing participation among disabled people at all levels of the sport. I hope its work in this area continues to go from strength to strength.”

Collier added: “This has been a momentous year for disability cricket in this country as we continue to reap the benefit of sustained investment into the sport at both grass-roots and elite level.

“The highlights include the Learning Disability squad winning their tri-series in South Africa last winter and the staging of the first ever Physical Disabilities international between England and Pakistan in the UAE [United Arab Emirates] earlier this year.

“It’s marvellous to get national recognition for our England disability teams and we would like to thank Hugh Robertson in particular for his support, Sport England, and the All Party Cricket Group for continuing to be such strong backers of our disability cricket programme.”