KEARAN Gibbs, who was born without hands and convinced not to give up on his dream of playing cricket by Australian legend Shane Warne, is now starring for Warwickshire’s disability access team.
Kearan, who has a rare congenital anomaly, met the late legendary spinner at Hampshire’s Ageas Bowl when he was 11-years-old.
The sports-mad youngster fell for cricket having first played with his uncle on a beach holiday and had developed a bowling action which saw him grip and release the ball from the fold of his elbow.
He was struggling with the technique and becoming disillusioned, but after meeting the Australian legend, Warne gave Kearan his phone number and kept in regular contact.
Kearan said: “It was cool having his number on my phone – and he was always willing to offer help if I needed it. He was a great guy.
“I took on board his advice. Over time it worked and I’ve developed a pretty consistent action now.”
Kearan is about to celebrate his tenth anniversary at Warwickshire’s Disability Access team during which time the 23-year-old has scored 384 runs and taken 64 wickets.
Next season he will be part of the Bears side that, for the first time, takes the step up into the national disability D40 hardball league.
Kearan added: “Cricket was the first sport that really welcomed me, that let me in.
“I’d love to get into the England side, that’s not off the radar for me. I have aspirations of playing for England and have been involved in development squads in the past.”