The ECAD (England Cricket Association for the Deaf) Academy side tore up the form book to win the ECAD National Deaf Indoor Championships at the Willows Sports Centre in Derby on Sunday (Feb 26) and leave poor Surrey as runners-up for a fourth year in a row!
The first round of matches went to form with holders Lancashire beating newcomers Yorkshire and Surrey narrowly beating Nottinghamshire.
In the next round of games the ECAD Academy side were well beaten by Nottinghamshire, showing little sign of what was to follow, and Surrey again narrowly won this time being Yorkshire.
After lunch Lancashire beat Surrey by 2 runs in a repeat of the 2016 final and ECAD Academy finally came to the party beating Yorkshire.
In the penultimate league games Yorkshire won their first match thrashing Nottinghamshire by 95 runs and ECAD Academy shocked Lancashire with a 6 run victory.
With many permutations still possible the final round of matches saw Surrey do enough to take the first place position and a free ride to the final beating ECAD Academy and Lancashire comfortably beating Nottinghamshire to take second place.
Nottinghamshire and Yorkshire played off for the wooden spoon with Yorkshire, led by player of the tournament Adnan Ghani, ending on top to take 4th place.
The play-off match between Lancashire & ECAD Academy showed a hint of what was to follow with the Academy side triumphing off the final ball by 3 runs.
Perennial runners-up Surrey were in ebullient and perhaps over-confident mood ahead of the final but the young Academy side, still full of energy where others were starting to flag, batted well to score 38, a challenging total based on the day’s events thus far. What followed was a magnificent bowling and fielding display which left Surrey well short and a 26 run victory for the youngsters.
Martin Henderson’s team were ironically well represented with Surrey players (four) and one of those Sarvesh Thiruchelvam took the young player of the tournament trophy.
Forty-two Deaf players took part in what was ECAD’s biggest indoor event yet.