How disability led to me becoming an international cricket captain

24 February 2016

by Rob Franks

Ben Franks playing cricketWhen I became disabled I thought it was the end of my relationship with sport — but how wrong I was. Here is my story.

After injuring my knee playing cricket five years ago, an x-ray revealed a bone tumour in my thigh.

The tumour was removed, came back and removed once more, and I was able to continue playing one of the games I love the most.

However after a third operation, I woke up from my surgery to find I had no feeling in my left leg from below the knee. The surgeon had cut the nerves in my leg whilst removing the tumour.

The thought of not being able to play cricket or football with my children, or even running around, got me down. All these prospects were taken from me in one go.

But then my wife saw an advert for disability cricket in Dorset.

Disability cricket

I went along to a training session and immediately felt back at home in a sporting environment, albeit on permanent crutches.

During my third game for Dorset disaster struck again: I played a shot whilst batting and my leg snapped in half through the site of the tumour.

But this proved to be just another setback to bounce back from.

Captain locally and internationally

Last year I was named Dorset Disability County Captain — a huge honour — and we won the league! (This is a feat no other Dorset captain has achieved.)

I'm also now an international cricketer, playing soft and hard ball cricket for the CFPD (Cricket Federation for People with Disabilities).

I’ve played at some wonderful venues including Old Trafford and Lords. I’ve even assumed the England captaincy on one occasion!

If I can do it, so can you

When I became disabled I thought that's the end of things within sport, but how wrong I was.

Find a club. Go along and see how you feel as you never know what may be in store for you. You never know, we could be England teammates in the future!

Find your nearest disability sports club on the Parasport website.

Comments

I am proud of you Rob. You have been through a lot and have still managed to play cricket. Carry on going.

I love horse riding with RDA Wilton Group, I was born with some physically disabilities but I can still ride and it helps my whole body, mentally and physically it's completely different because you're using bits and pieces that you don't always use. Thank you to everyone at RDA.

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