Head coach Ross Hunter admits Sheffield’s Peter Blueitt shows no sign of slowing down as he and the England Visually Impaired cricket team prepare to take on world champions India.
All-rounder Blueitt will turn 55 during the forthcoming series which sees India come to England for three ODIs and three T20s – the first of which takes place on May 24.
The Warwickshire Bears man was relatively late to the England set up having only made his debut in 2012.
But he has not hung around since, including helping the Three Lions reach the semi-finals of last year’s Blind World Cup in South Africa.
The visit of India will provide another stern test but Hunter insists the old saying age is just a number has never been truer than in the case of Blueitt.
“At the age he is, which we sometimes forget he’s near his 50s, to put the performance in he has is really outstanding,” said Hunter.
“He had a really impressive World Cup and got bat on ball every time. Every time the ball came to him he managed to get the bat on it.
“There were some situations, especially against India, where he just got bat on ball at the end of the innings and gave us an opportunity to get a total that was competitive.
“He’s also very consistent with the ball and gives it his absolute all for England cricket.
“There is no way you could get him out of this squad because he wants to be in it for ages.”
India will arrive in England with a strong pedigree in all formats of the game and backed by a large pool of talent from across the country.
The number of visually impaired players in England in comparison is drastically less but Hunter believes the opportunity to go toe-to-toe with the world champions, including during one T20 game under the lights at the Oval, will only benefit the growth of the sport.
“We go in with humility because we know we have a lot to learn from them because they are a great cricketing nation,” he added.
“With India and Pakistan the numbers are hugely in their favour because they have got 2,000 people playing the game.
“We have got about 25 playing the game domestically so the odds are stacked against us.
“But being an underdog is not a bad place to be. We want more people playing this game and get experience about what it is like so to have a home series gives people those opportunities.”
Support the England Visually Impaired team by attending a match, every match is free entry. Alternatively follow the team at www.ecb.co.uk and on ECB Twitter and Facebook sites. The ECB is an inclusive organisation providing support and a pathway for disability cricket from grassroots to elite.