First, Gale force – nowit’s calm after the storm
Age 23 Team: England Learning Disability
You’ve had a very big summer, are your feet back on the ground?
The summer itself was busy with cricket and it’s nice to settle down a bit. Now it’s the off-season it’s the chance to settle down and look back at the last few months. With the success of the INAS TriNations series and last week we had the chance to go to Lord’s to showcase what we did in July and to be recognised for what we have done.
What was that Lord’s experience like, to parade around and get the recognition from the crowd during the Test match?
It was fantastic and an experience I’ll never forget. Not just the opportunity to walk around the pitch at Lord’s. I’ve been to watch several Test matches before, but it’s a completely different experience. Especially when you’ve got however many thousands of people that were there that day.
Albeit on a rain-affected day, but quite a lot of the people still stayed at the ground to give us a warm reception as we went around for our lap of honour, it was an incredible experience.
Hopefully moments like that will help inspire the next generation of disability cricketers, but also make the public more aware of disability cricket. We’re all one England cricket team and there’s no reason for anyone to dismiss disability cricket and the ability we have.
That exposure must be great for the sport in general?
With the exposure we have had, now going into 2019, which is when the next series is due to take place, in Australia, there’s more pressure on us. But I think the team has got plenty of experience from the series just gone and also through the work we do off the pitch, raising the profile of disability cricket.
How did this compare with the international tournaments you had played in before?
It was a bit odd really. Both international series I had done prior to the 2017 one were tours. My first one was in 2011 in South Africa, and subsequently in Australia two years ago, so it was completely different not having to travel as much.
On top of that, the pressure, having won two series prior to that, we were tipped to win. So it’s a whole different kettle of fish really. If you’re underperforming, your place is in jeopardy and nobody wants to be dropped from an England team on home soil. I consider myself proud and lucky to have played all ten games and lifted the trophy in the T20s and the one-day series.
How much training do you get to do with the England squad?
We used to do once a month over the winter. Our first camp is not this weekend but the one after. It will be good because we only meet up a handful of times in the summer, so to have that regular contact in the winter is good. We’ve got new players coming through to develop as well, to make the squad ever stronger for future tournaments as well.