Salisbury named as full-time physical disability coach
Ian Salisbury, the former England legspinner, has been appointed as the first full-time head coach of the England Physical Disability (PD) team, with Ross Hunter also taking on a full-time role to continue his work with the England Visually Impaired (VI) side.
Salisbury, who played 15 Tests between 1992 and 2000, claimed 884 wickets in a first-class career that spanned 20 seasons and included three County Championship titles with Surrey in 1999, 2000 and 2002.
Salisbury has worked with the England PD squad over the past two years in the role of assistant coach, but has now stepped up to succeed Qasim Ali, who was recently appointed head coach of the ICC Academy in Dubai. He will combine his new role with continuing to support Mark Robinson and the England women's team.
"I am very humbled and honoured," said Salisbury. "Especially knowing that we are the first two coaches in the world to be working full-time in disability cricket. I have been massively inspired by the players themselves and the job in hand.
"Taking on this full-time role means that we can do so much more to support the players individually beyond cricket. We know a lot about their cricketing abilities but I want to find out more about their lives and what role cricket plays in it.
Salisbury's first assignment will be to prepare the England PD squad for games this summer as the side continues to build towards a world tournament in England in 2019.
"We have a great chance to write a new story, to aim to win a world tournament in 2019 and be the number one side in the world. We can only do that through hard work, strategic planning, adaptability, humility and innovation. This will create an environment that puts cricket and this team at the forefront of disability cricket in England and the world.
"This is more than a cricketing role, there is a real element of personal development. How can we make their lives better away from cricket and that, in turn, will improve their own individual performances and those of the team."
Hunter, meanwhile, carries on the work he had been doing in recent seasons with the VI, which included a last-four finish in the recent Blind World Cup in India.
"I'm incredibly proud to work with the players on a full-time basis," he said. "This decision is a testament to the work they have put in and the progress the squad has made. Our goal is to now become the most pioneering visually impaired sports programme in the world and we now have the resources to do that.
ECB's Head of Disability Cricket, Ian Martin said: "This is an important step change in disability cricket. I'm proud that we are the first international cricket board to make such a step. It will increase the capacity of our coaches to work with performance squads and is further evidence of the improvement and culture shift within our national squads."