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Paul Joins VI Training Session

Paul van Meekeren joined the Somerset Visually Impaired cricket squad recently at one of their pre-season training sessions.

The Netherlands International bowler dropped in to experience cricket in a slightly different format and after trying on various simulation spectacles, he soon had an appreciation of just how different the games was. He was also on hand to answer questions and pass on a few tips when it came to bowling.

After the session Somerset VI Chairman Adam White, who was one of the founder members of the Somerset VI team, said: “We were delighted to welcome Paul to our training session. This gave the club an opportunity to show him how our game is played and for him to have a go, which he seemed to enjoy!

“It really gives the team a boost knowing that we have the support and backing from the Somerset players and hopefully this can become a regular event with more of them coming along to have a go.”

At the end of the session Paul said: “It was great fun and a good experience. It was much, much tougher than I thought it would be. I started with the tunnel vision glasses, which was okay for me and then I used the full blind glasses. With those on I couldn’t hit a thing! I think I managed to hit one ball and that was more luck than skill. When it came to bowling, I think I got one ball on the stumps and at one point the umpire was telling me that I was about eight feet to the left or eight feet to the right. I think I even hit the square leg umpire at one point!

“That just goes to show the high skill levels that the guys on the VI team have. It’s truly remarkable how these players constantly get the ball in the right areas. They’ve got a very good bunch of people here and they really enjoy their cricket. It certainly wasn’t just a case of turning up and playing, there was a lot of talk about tactics and everyone was working on their techniques. Everyone was very keen to improve and they approach the game in exactly the same way that we do in the professional game. It was great to witness that.”

This season Somerset VICC will be looking to build on consecutive fourth place finishes in the National League.

The team played their first National League match of the season on Saturday and put in an impressive display, beating Kent by 175 runs.

Somerset made 241 for two declared from 20 overs and then dismissed their Kent counterparts for just 66.

The Somerset VICC is always on the lookout for potential sponsors or volunteers, especially mini bus drivers and anyone who would like more information about the club, should contact steve.gass@somersetcricketboard.org

Team photo: Pictured from left to right – Back Row – Michael Contreras, Ollie Parry (coach), Lee Lawrence, Paul van Meekeren, Philip Franks, Adam White (Chairman of Club), Neil Staines (coach) and Steve Cook. Front row- Martin Hallett David Ridgway and Heidi Linegar.

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