Leamington’s Justin Hollingsworth insists he is more than ready to play his part as England’s Visually Impaired Cricket team bid for Blind World Cup glory next month.
Hollingsworth is part of a 17-man squad that will fly to South Africa to take on the best sides from around the globe, kicking things off with the test of Sri Lanka in Capetown on November 27.
Despite his tender age it is the 17-year-old’s second World Cup and, after making the semi-finals of the T20 edition last time out, he is targeting at least a spot in the final this time around.
Hollingsworth was a keen red-ball cricketer before retinitis pigmitosa began to deteriorate his vision.
However, the Warwickshire College student was able to pursue his passion with the visually impaired team and is determined to reach the top of the game.
“I used to play traditional cricket at school and as the condition got worse I came into VI cricket,” Hollingsworth said.
“To still be able to play is incredible, it’s the chance to keep playing sport which is far better than sitting at home.
“It’s good to chat to people who are going through similar things and find out about how they deal with it and what they are doing in their lives.
“I want to keep playing for a long time and to be going to my second world cup at my age is a bit surreal. Winning is the main target and I would love to hit a couple of centuries on the way to that. To hit a century in one of the big games would be amazing.”
With the likes of India and Pakistan also heading to South Africa in search of the game’s top prize, Hollingsworth knows his side face tough competition.
ECB is an inclusive organisation providing support and a pathway for disability cricket from grassroots to elite. Follow the England Visually Impaired Squad in South Africa at www.ecb.co.uk