A LOCAL cricketer has been selected in the England Lions disability squad - effectively England’s B team. 

Eric Heath, pictured, has been an active member of Knockin and Kinnerley Cricket Club’s second and third teams since joining the club five years ago, and has completed his Level 1 coaching course. 

“Eric is always exceptionally positive about his cricket and always strives to do his best when bowling and batting,” said Knockin secretary Dave Smith.

“Above all else he always plays the game with a smile on his face. 

“He has played for the Shropshire Disability team for a number of years and last summer he was selected for the Midlands Regional Development squad. He is eager to make the step-up to international level.”

n Eric is a also a regular visitor to Knockin’s successful junior sessions held at the Nursery Ground on Monday evenings.

Knockin boast one of the strongest junior sections in Oswestry area cricket, and this has provided the foundation for the huge progress the club has made in recent years.

“Ten years ago we were running two Saturday sides and were slowly dying as a club as our membership aged,” said Smith.

“Thanks to the vision of Ed Nicholas and Barry Jones, who started a youth coaching session around eight years ago, the club has been turned around. 

“We are now running four senior sides on a Saturday and Sunday and more than 50 regular juniors attend our Monday night sessions where Ed and Barry together with Gary Darlington and Steve Gray coach a wide range of cricket skills.

“We have found that as the children reach the age of 16 there is a real danger of them losing interest in cricket. We have therefore started our Junior Academy sessions every Friday evening from 6.30pm. This initiative is aimed at 16 to 20-year-olds who want to improve their cricket.”