December 16, 2008

England retain blind Ashes series

Martin Williamson

England's blind team have retained the Ashes, taking an unassailable 3-0 lead in the series with one match to play. Nineteen-year-old Luke Sugg scored his maiden England hundred to seal an historic win, finishing on 112 not out, after the second ODI was lost to rain. The Ashes series for blind cricketers began in 2004 with a 3-2 win for England on home soil, and this is the first series to be played in Australia.

However, members of the Australian team claim they have been disadvantaged by a blind English allrounder who sees too well. The Australian Blind Cricket Council is expected to lodge a complaint about Nathan Foy with the World Blind Cricket Council.

Two Australian blind cricketers told the Australian they were gagged from commenting public. The players reportedly said the team was angry that Australian authorities had refused to lodge a protest against Foy. Because he is classified B1, the most serious of three gradings of visual impairment in blind cricket, Foy's score was doubled to 200, giving England a total of 324 and a 54-run win over Australia, reported the Australian.

Martin Williamson is executive editor of ESPNcricinfo and managing editor of ESPN Digital Media in Europe, the Middle East and Africa

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