Lancashire Lions - VI cricket
Lancashire Lions, the county's visually-impaired cricket team, completed a Roses double when they beat Yorkshire by eight wickets at Wakefield on Thursday.
After restricting their opponents to 136 for eight off 20 overs, the Lions reached their victory target in some comfort with more than four overs to spare.
But behind the old rivalry lies new, exciting opportunities for the county's visually-impaired cricketers as they aim to build on their partnership with Manchester Association side Bolton Indians and enter the National League next summer.
"We began our team with just four players but now we've got about 25," said Sheraz Chohan, the captain, coach and main inspiration behind the Lancashire Lions.
"We began training at Abraham Moss Leisure Centre in Crumpsall, where the people were very helpful to us, and we are also very grateful to Werneth Cricket Club, who allowed us to use their facilities. Now, though, we have established formal links with Bolton Indians and we will be based there."
Chohan, a 35-year-old VI cricketer from Crumpsall, has been both a little surprised and tremendously encouraged by the enthusiasm his taster and coaching sessions have aroused.
Players have been recruited from Liverpool and elsewhere and the aim is to run county-wide taster sessions before long. As a result of the popularity of the current programmes, Chohan is to launch both a second team and a development side in 2013.
"I have had huge help from my assistant coaches Rashid Khan and Daniel Clarke, and Jean Clarke has given us great help with the organisation of VI cricket in Lancashire," he said.
"We're top of our four-team group, which includes Yorkshire, Derbyshire and Durham, and I'm hoping that some of our players will be involved with the national team in due course. VI cricket in Lancashire has really come on in leaps and bounds over the past year.
"However, anyone who runs a cricket team knows that it doesn't come cheap, so we would be very happy to hear from anyone who might be able to sponsor us in any way." Anyone who is able to help the Lancashire Lions or wishes to play VI cricket should contact Sheraz Chohan on 07581-351786.
Article written: by Paul Edwards