THREE England disability cricketers have received boosts while studying at the University of Worcester to combine elite sport with their degree.

James Nordin, Will Flynn and Jonny Gale were selected for the university’s sports scholarship programme, giving them financial and academic support as well as access to specialist lifestyle advice.

Nordin and Flynn have been competing for England senior physical disability team while Gale is part of the England learning disability team.

Ian Martin, head of disability cricket at the England and Wales Cricket Board, said: “I’m delighted that three of our most promising England disability cricketers have been able to take advantage of the scholarship scheme offered at the university.

"Having worked closely with the school of sport and exercise science over recent years, I know just how passionate the team is about supporting inclusive sport.

"Our cricketers with a disability could not ask for a better environment in which to continue their education and develop their sporting prowess.”

With an international tournament in England this summer, Nordin said having support from the university would be vital in effective preparation alongside academic commitments. 

The 18-year-old, who in his first year studying sports coaching science, said: “In addition, the access to strength and conditioning support and sports therapy included in the scholarship will aid my training and recovery this winter which will allow me to improve my strength and fitness as well as my technical cricket skills ahead of this season.

"The university is leading the way through its support for disability cricket and this is one of the main reasons I chose to study at Worcester.”

Gale, who is in the third year of a cricket coaching management degree, said the scholarship was brilliant.

“Not only has it provided financial support but the access I’ve had to the university’s training facilities and coaching staff, who devised a strength and conditioning programme specifically for me, has really paid off,” he said.

“My fitness level has improved and my cricketing stats for last season have been my best to date.”

The 24-year-old continued: “Also I am on the autism spectrum and from time to time I’ve found myself having difficulty balancing my academic workload with maintaining the regular training programme and trips away that my England cricket commitment requires.

"However, the fantastic support provided by the scholarship staff has helped me to stay on top of my studies yet still comply with my England duties 100 per cent.”

First year student Flynn, 18, who is studying physical geography, has been part of the ECB’s physical disability cricket squads for three years. 

He said: “The scholarship will play a vital role to help my cricketing career, especially with equipment costs and travelling costs, and ultimately allow me to try to push forward my career and stay in the England pathway for as long as possible.

"Being one of the only scholars on the programme not to take a sport-related degree means that I often have less contact with the sports department at the university.

"This scholarship gives me more adaptability when balancing my geography-related studies and sporting commitments.”