REDDITCH’S Luke Sugg revealed marking a decade in the England visually impaired cricket team with a World Cup title next month would be beyond his wildest dreams.
Sugg, who has congenital cataracts, made his debut for the national side in 2004 and says he now regards the team as part of his family.
The 25-year-old is also in no mood to slow down any time soon and is part of a 17-man squad that will fly to South Africa in November bidding to become champions in the Blind Cricket World Cup.
With the likes of India and Pakistan also set to compete for the world’s top prize, Sugg knows his side face a tough challenge, but he is in bullish mood ahead of the November 27 opener against Sri Lanka.
“India and Pakistan are by far the two strongest sides heading out there,” he said, “but there’s nobody we should fear apart from India and Pakistan.
“We are confident of definitely making the semi-finals and if we play to our potential we will get to that final.
“After that we’ll either come home happy, or come home fairly happy.
“The thought of winning the World Cup is such a big motivator for us and to actually have the chance to do it is unbelievable.”
Sugg plays his domestic cricket for Warwickshire Bears and he says the opportunity to play sport is something that has proved invaluable for his own well-being.
“It’s helped socially because I’m not the most sociable of people, I like being quiet and on my own, music in my ears,” he added.
“Being part of this is more like a family, players come and they stick around for years. There are players here that I’ve been in the same squad with for 11 years and it’s helped bring me out of my shell.
“It’s a great way of making friends and making family, as it were. These guys, you don’t see them every day, you see them once or twice for a couple of weekends a month, then when you are going away on tour you see each other every day for three weeks.
“You get sick of a couple of people, that happens, but most people get sick of me. We get on, everybody understands everybody, it’s a really good team. I’m really looking forward to the forthcoming World Cup.”
ECB is an inclusive organisation providing support and a pathway for disability cricket from grassroots to elite. Follow the England visually impaired squad in South Africa at www.ecb.co.uk.