Worcestershire's cricketers swapped their bat and balls to test their skills at wheelchair basketball at The University of Worcester Arena as part of a Professional Cricketers' Association initiative.

First team regulars Daryl Mitchell, Ben Cox and Brett D'Oliveira teamed up with young professionals Ollie Westbury and Ben Twohig and Pat Brown who is undertaking a cricket scholarship at the University.  

GB Wheelchair Basketball Men's Head Coach Haj Bhania was on hand to observe the squad being put through their paces by University third year Coaching Science students Harry Smith and Tommy Garwood.  

They were assisted by a number of the University's first year Coaching Science with Disability Sport students Frankie Jones, Benji Borastero, Jamie Fugill, Rob Whale, Rosie Williams and Morwenna Hastings.   

The County players then split into two teams alongside the students to discovered the challenges of wheelchair basketball.

As Haj Bhania explained to the group, the sport requires considerable skill and body strength with the rules, size of the court and height of the baskets exactly the same as for the running version of the game. 

Bhania also explained the classification system and how this influenced their team selection at national level and the strategy they used during games.  

PCA Personal Development Manager for Worcestershire and  Warwickshire, Lynsey Williams said:  "During the off-season the PCA provide group education sessions in areas such as health and well-being, life skills, career exploration & development and employability.

"However we also like to offer players new and diverse learning experiences within their local community such as they experienced in their visit to the University.  

"The players had a great afternoon learning  a new sport and, with the support of the coaches and the talented wheelchair basketball athletes. they managed to pick up the basics quite well."

Williams added: "The game was quite competitive as you would expect. Pat Brown enjoyed sinking a three point basket while there was one moment where Brett, who was actually pushing his wheelchairs with his back to play, took the most unlikely of interceptions to give his team the advantage.  

“It was an excellent experience that everyone enjoyed and I’d like to thank the University staff and students and Haj Bhania for giving up their time and expertise.“  

If you would like to find out more about Wheelchair Basketball in Worcester or Worcester Wolves Basketball in general then go to: http://worcesterwolves.org/community/wheelchair-basketball/