Special Olympian Opens Digicel Series 2009

Day one of the 1st Digicel Test officially bowled off this morning at Sabina Park in Kingston, Jamaica, when Special Olympic athlete, Craig Nelson, joined West Indies Captain, Chris Gayle, and England Captain, Andrew Strauss, in the opening coin toss.

A 29-year-old graduate of the School of Hope in Kingston,  Craig Nelson, who is deaf and mute, is a lifetime fan of cricket and names Courtney Walsh and Chris Gayle as his favourite West Indian cricketers.

Craig said of his participation in the coin toss for the Digicel Series 2009: “It was an honour to be selected by Digicel to participate in the opening of the Digicel Series.  It is the first time I have done anything like this.  I am a West Indies fan and have loved cricket all my life and I play whenever I get the chance.

“Although there is no Special Olympic cricket team yet, there will be one next year but unfortunately I won’t be able to take part due to my age. However, I’m delighted that other athletes will have the opportunity to play cricket at the Special Olympics.”

Craig has shown his sporting prowess by excelling in football, floor hockey – where he has won three medals – and basketball. His participation in the 2009 Special Olympics World Winter Games will be the fifth time Craig has represented Jamaica at international level.

Craig and his 17 fellow Special Olympians today depart for Boise, Idaho, in the US, for the 2009 Special Olympics World Winter Games where Craig will be a member of the floor hockey team.