We are playing for England, we wear the same shirt, just because I have a disability it doesn’t make me any different”: Empowerment, Eliteness, and Visually Impaired Cricket.

Drawing upon ethnographic research conducted with the England Visually Impaired Cricket Team, this article considers the extent to which participation in visually impaired cricket is an empowering practice and critiques whether such empowerment can have a wider impact upon blind and partially sighted people who do not participate in sport and physical activity. The topic of empowerment and disability sport are well debated, yet, the context of visually impaired cricket provides an original perspective. Using an embodied theoretical approach to disability sport, the participants’ experiences of recreational visually impaired cricket and their transition to the elite national team are investigated to understand the multifaceted ways that empowerment is experienced. There is a specific focus upon how disability sport affects the participants’ conceptualisation and negotiation of their corporeality through the concepts of embodied reconceptualisation of self and the restored self. Despite the players’ empowering experiences, this article evaluates the consequences of forming an ever-closer relationship with the mainstream game and how the elite organisational approach to visually impaired cricket, introduced by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), has irreversibly changed the empowering potential of the game.