EX-Burnley, Lowerhouse, Colne and Padiham batting star Qasim Ali has landed a top job with the ECB – and is now the new head coach of the England Physical Disability Cricket team.
The fee-flowing Ali, who also represented Lancashire seconds earlier in his career, has worked with the England PD team for the last eight months as assistant to coach Chris Ellison.
But Ellison has now stepped aside and turned to the 31-year-old Ali, who was previously the lead coach at Lancashire’s Emirates Old Trafford indoor centre.
A delighted Ali said: “I’m thrilled to be given the opportunity to continue my work with the England Physical Disability team.
“I look forward to working closely with a talented group of players and the management team.
“These are exciting times for disability cricket as we look to progress and prepare for the forthcoming season and future international series.”
Ali’s first assignment will be to prepare the England PD squad for the annual flagship fixture against an Army XI as part of a charity cricket day at Bournville on July 13.
The ECB’s head of disability cricket Ian Martin is full of praise for Ali and said: “His contribution to the squad over the last eight months has been significant and I know that he commands the respect of all of the players in our elite group. He is a young enthusiastic coach who I know will bring the best out of the players that we have in the programme.”
Meanwhile, Ali’s former Burnley team-mates aim for their first league win of the Foster’s Lancashire League season tomorrow when they go to Rishton.
They are in need of a win after losing their first four league games and the game also marks a return to Rishton for pro Chris Holt, who spent seven games as their sub-pro three years ago.
At the top of the table Rawtenstall are the early leaders and they are at Enfield in what promises to be a stand out clash.
Vinny Hanson’s men have impressed in all four games so far and Keith Roscoe heads back to the ground where he claimed his historic 1,500th league wicket last year.
Reigning champions Accrington are slipping through the gears nicely and they are on the road to Bacup, while Lowerhouse face Todmorden in another intriguing game as the pace of Queensland Bull Michael Neser hits the Neville Gee Recruitment Ground.
Church face East Lancashire at West End and Nelson travel to Haslingden in games that are well balanced.
And the day’s other clash sees in-form Ramsbottom going to Colne with Andy Hakin leading the home attack against his old club.