What is the purpose of deaf cricket?
Deaf cricket provides unique opportunities because of the specific support deaf and hard of hearing cricketers receive from the staff and fellow team members. There is excellent deaf awareness from coaches and management. There are also interpreters available for British Sign Language users for coaching sessions, matches and social aspects. These factors can help develop the skills of a deaf cricketer.
Deaf cricket provide more opportunities for hard of hearing and deaf cricketers to communicate on all factors; coaching, on-field discussions, running between the wicket, changing room banter, tactical planning and social dialogue.
The technical and tactical aspects becomes more complex as a cricketer matures and the development depends a lot on communication, a deaf cricketer is less likely to fulfil his potential if he is unable to interpret what is happening around him. Especially in a hearing environment when verbal words fly past a deaf cricketer.
Fellow deaf participants share an awareness of the specific communication skills on and off the field. A deaf cricketer may not always necessary get this from their hearing club because of the communication barrier.
Some deaf cricketers are fortunate that there are hearing peers at their cricket clubs who do their best to include the deaf cricketer within the dressing room banter and tactical input. This does require a lot of attention, time, patience and effort from the hearing cricketer who is spending their free time to play cricket at club level.
Deaf cricketers have more freedom to express themselves amongst their fellow deaf cricketers on the playing field. This includes running between the wicket using eye contacts and nod of the shoulder or the head, discussing field placing, bowling changes and etc.
The dressing room of a hearing team presents challenges for the typical deaf cricketer. An Australian deaf international cricketer once said he left the changing room of a hearing team because he couldn’t follow the dialogue. The following day in a deaf cup match, he was more comfortable communicating with his deaf peers in the changing room.
What is deaf cricket?
There is a specific criteria, in terms of hearing loss for world deaf cricket. The average decibel loss must be 55dB or over. An audiogram will need to be verified from the cricketer’s local audiology department.
During all deaf cricket matches, all hearing aids must be removed when on the playing field so that all deaf and hard of hearing cricketers are on an equal level playing field.
All communications on the field are conducted with lip-reading and basic sign language.
How many deaf cricketers are there?
ECAD currently register around 50 playing members but it is estimated there are many more out there in the United Kingdom . Royal National Institute for the Deaf estimate there are 1 in 7 people who have a hearing loss with 12 million deaf or hard of hearing people living in the UK… .
What opportunities does ECAD have to offer for deaf cricketers?
England Cricket Association for the Deaf is a recognised body by the England Cricket Board and Deaf Cricket International Federation. The ECB, in particular, has provided huge support to the deaf cricketers in England for a home international series with Pakistan in 2006, the 2005 World Cup in India , the 2004 Ashes tour in Australia and numerous training weekends across the country.
ECAD offer training weekends for the Development Squad, National Squad, a domestic National Cup, friendly matches across the country and international tournaments at home and abroad.