Dakic backed to deliver for England cricket side

Jonathan Dakic

Jonathan Dakic

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ENGLAND learning disabilities cricket team head coach Derek Morgan is adamant Fontwell’s Jonathan Dakic will show Australia what he is all about this month.

Morgan named 20-year-old Dakic among his 15-man squad heading Down Under for the INAS series between Australia and England.

The series will comprise four one-day internationals and two T20 matches as the two nations revive their rivalry, having last met four years ago..

The first game gets under way on March 17 and spin bowler Dakic, who has Asperger syndrome and dyslexia, is likely to play a major part – with coach Morgan delighted with what the Eastergate Cricket Club star brings to his side’s bowling attack.

“Jonathan joined us about two years ago now and is a talented right-arm off spin bowler and a good middle-order batter,” Morgan said.

“He provides us with a real change of dimension which is one of the flaws we identified in our squad.

“We thought our attack was good but one dimensional and he has given us a real variation that we needed. It gives us a real sense of control in the middle order of our bowling spells.

“He’s an incredibly articulate young man and has a great understanding of the game and what it is he is trying to do and how he goes about it.

“He’s got a really calm and placid nature that really helps to tie our group together.”

In 2011 England’s Learning Disabilities cricket team whitewashed their Australian rivals 2-0 in a tri-nations competition, and Morgan believes lightning can strike twice with Dakic’s help.

“They are a fantastic group and it’s just about managing them well,” he added. “The added incentive of it being a traditional rivalry when we go out there in their environment is a fabulous challenge for me as a coach and for the players.

“I’m so excited by it and I think the players are feeling the same emotions and are really up for it. We are really confident that we are doing all we can do for our players and giving them the platform to go and play.

“If we do that then we will be very competitive and can make a real impact over there because I think this is the best prepared LD squad we have ever had in place.”

* ECB is an inclusive organisation providing support and a pathway for disability cricket from grassroots to elite. Follow the England Learning Disability squad in Australia at www.ecb.co.uk. To find out how to get involved in Learning Disability cricket contact your local cricket board

MARIOS PAPALOIZOU