A chance to play for England
by Jamie Sorbie
Jamie is a hearing impaired teenager who has a love for cricket; we asked him if he would share some of his experiences of being a member of the England Deaf Cricket squad with us.
My name is Jamie Sorbie and I am sixteen years old. I developed a severe hearing loss when I was seven years old and have worn hearing aids in both ears ever since. I have also recently become a trustee of Dorset DCS because I wanted to become more involved with the charity and represent younger members on the committee.
I have been playing cricket for Parley Cricket Club since I was nine years old, I actually started playing earlier than this in the back garden with my brother and friends. At that time I was also selected to play for the district team and my first ever proper game of cricket was for East Dorset against South Dorset. When I was twelve, my brother Tom was asked to play in a training game for the England Deaf Cricket Team. I went along to watch but at this time I was too young to take part as it was adult cricket and they had some pretty fast bowlers!
When I was thirteen I had the opportunity to train with the England team at their training sessions being held at different venues all over the country, one was at the Rose Bowl the home ground for Hampshire. This was a brilliant experience for me and I went on to play some training games and go on tour with them. About a year ago the England Cricket Board took charge of the team under their Disability Cricket section. This has led to the formation of a full strength Lions team, with developing players hoping to progress to the elite squad and play for England. I was lucky enough to be selected for the Lions team and was until recently their youngest player. I went on tour with them last September where we played three games and won all three!
Last year the BBC programme ‘See Hear’ came to one of our training sessions and filmed the England Squad training. The programme was broadcast last February and did a whole feature on the team interviewing the elite players, captain and coach. I managed to make an appearance taking part in the training!
For the past two years the England team have been training in the winter at Shrewsbury School and the last sessions have been to prepare the elite team for their tour to Australia to play the Deaf Ashes. The team have just returned from Australia having drawn the series, meaning the Aussies retained the Ashes. It was a shame it wasn’t an Ashes double after the brilliant Ashes win by the hearing team! Having the opportunity to wear the three lions and play the sport I love is a dream come true for me, and I hope that I can progress as a cricketer to be able to push my way into the elite England Squad in the years to come.
Last September I was nominated by the England Team and the England Cricket Board for a scholarship known as the Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS), which means I have funding for my cricket coaching, equipment and travel and I also have my own strength and conditioning coach and physiotherapist,. I still play for Parley Cricket Club, playing youth cricket up until last year and adult cricket for the past two years. We also play in the indoor cricket leagues during the winter. I passed the Level 1 Cricket Coaching qualification and trained as an Umpire last year so I have a lot of cricket going on all the time! This can get difficult at times as I am studying for my A Levels in Maths, Chemistry, Geography and Media and also hope to take my Grade Five saxophone exam this year!
I love cricket and only hope with a lot of hard work and commitment I may one day walk on to a cricket pitch representing England!