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Ben Mason makes it two England debuts for Super 1s participants in a week

In what has been a landmark week for the Super 1s programme, Middlesex participant Ben Mason has received his first England cap for the learning disabilities (LD) side during the tri-series taking place in South Africa.

Ben made his debut in a comfortable nine wicket win against South Africa as England continued their unbeaten start to the tournament which also includes Ashes rivals Australia.  

He made a telling impact on the game with figures of 2-16 in his four overs, which included taking two wickets in an over to help restrict South Africa to just 102-6 in their allotted 20 overs.

Ben’s engagement with Super 1s came through Hillingdon School, where he twice won the London competition at Lord’s Cricket Ground in 2018 and 2019. From there, Ben was invited to train with the Middlesex disability squad. He started in the Super 1s setup before progressing to the county’s D40 side.

Fast forward four years and Ben’s performances domestically have seen him become a fully-fledged international for the England LD side and joins Sussex Alfie Pyle in being one of the first to go from being a Super 1s participant to representing his country.

His Dad, Paul said: “It’s been quite a whirlwind, but without Super 1s this pathway would never have opened up for Ben and we will always be grateful. What a platform Super 1s has given him.”

Super 1s isn't about developing elite cricketers, but it is about providing an environment where young people with a disability can realise their potential, and have access to the same opportunities that their non-disabled peers would have. For a small number (just like at non-disabled cricket clubs across the country), these opportunities include playing cricket at the highest level.

Throughout Super 1s, we often talk about the value of having England cricketers working as coaches on the programmes we run, and how they serve as fantastic role models for participants. To see Super 1s participants now becoming role models themselves is testament to the long-term impact that the programme has.

The current England LD team also includes three other individuals who already coach on the Super 1s programme. Jonny Gale (Surrey), Alex Jervis (Yorkshire) and Captain Chris Edwards (Cheshire) all just add the number of role models young people with a disability have to look up to now.

Ben and Alfie's achievements are their own, but they'll be the first to tell you how much the coaches at Super 1s have empowered them to get to where they are today.

To get regular updates on the team’s progress in South Africa, watch highlights from and live streams of each game, click here.

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