ECB National Disability Cricket Manager Ian Martin: "The atmosphere's remarkable and we seriously feel we've got a win in us"
Pakistan's 79-run win gives it the lead in three-match series following its two T20I successes; next matches on Friday & Sunday; free entry
Far from being downcast at a 79-run defeat in Tuesday night's first One-Day International (ODI) against Pakistan at the ICC Global Cricket Academy at Dubai Sports City, England and Wales Cricket Board National Disability Manager Ian Martin says his players are still "buzzing."
"It's quite phenomenal and we'd expected some heads to drop but that's not been the case," he said.
"The atmosphere around the group even after the ODI loss is remarkable. The players are bouncing off each other, there are some strong characters in there and they were all buzzing."
Morale within the England team remains high despite that loss in the ODI and the two Twenty20 Internationals before it, all part of the first series between two national teams of physically disabled players where both line-ups are recognised and endorsed by the governing body of cricket in their country.
"We seriously feel as if we've got a win or two in us," said Mr Martin as he looked ahead to the second and third ODIs of the three-match series, to be played at the ICC Global Cricket Academy on Friday and Sunday.
"For us, it's a question of looking where our shortcomings are and seeking to put them right.
"I think the skill levels between the two sides aren't all that different but what has taken Pakistan through so far is their players' cricket experience and being smart in certain situations.
"Speaking to the Pakistan players during the first match, a lot of them have been playing together for five years. For us, we've been together for about 13 months.
"Some of those Pakistan players have played 50-odd games together whereas, with us, we played together three times last year.
"It's that level of cricket experience where we've fallen short so far. We've been in good positions in all three games only for a wicket to fall and for a domino effect to follow.
"It's about learning where our shortcomings are. It's so important because clearly Pakistan's players know their games very, very well."
Pakistan's success in Tuesday's first ODI owed a great deal a superb stand of 233 between vice-captain Hasnain Alam, who made 136, and an unbeaten 113 from Matloob Qureshi.
That second-wicket partnership was the foundation of Pakistan's imposing total of 285-5 from its 40 overs and although all England's batsmen who got to the crease reached double figures, they could only reach 206-6 in reply.
"The toss was important as the outfield was fast during the day before slowing up in the evening with the onset of dew but you still have to be good enough to take advantage of conditions and the Pakistan batsmen did exactly that," said Mr Martin.
And despite the three losses so far on the trip, Mr Martin said he was delighted with everything about the ground-breaking series.
"Results are almost not relevant," he said. "It's about getting disability cricket on a stage and getting coverage.
"The fact it's been played in the backyard of the ICC's offices has been an added bonus with (ICC Chief Executive) Haroon Lorgat and (ICC General Manager – Cricket) David Richardson coming to watch.
"The series has already achieved everything we wanted and more and although it is a cliché, cricket has been the winner.
"We are showing that people with physical disabilities can play cricket to a high standard on the international stage and that is a great thing for us all to be doing to take the game to the next level."
The two sides are now getting ready for matches two and three in their three-match ODI series, with those matches taking place on Friday 17 and Sunday 19 February.
Both matches are 40 overs per side and start at 1530 at the ICC Global Cricket Academy with free entry for spectators.
Details of the T20Is and Tuesday's first ODI can be found here:
Details of the England squad can be found here:
News of the Pakistan squad can be found here: