Lancashire Cricket Board’s Thomas Wilson admits he will have to battle his nerves next month when he travels Down Under with the England Learning Disabilities cricket team.
Wilson has been announced as part of a 15-man squad that will travel out to Melbourne for four one-day internationals and two T20 matches against Australia, with the first match taking place on March 14.
Despite being just 21 years old Wilson is no stranger to the international scene, having travelled with England to Holland last year.
However Wilson, a former Ripley Saint Thomas Church of England High School pupil, insists he still finds the international stage quite nerve-racking.
“I started playing for England last year and it’s something I really look forward to every time I know we have training,” said Wilson.
“Last year I went to Holland, it was the first time away from my parents. I got a bit homesick at first but it was also really nice to be out there on my own.
“Going to Australia is exciting but also nerve-wracking. I want to make sure I do well for everyone at home.
“I did get a bit nervous when I started playing for England but I knew a few of the boys who play for Yorkshire because I’d played against them for Lancashire.
“I think I just need to get the first game out of the way when we get to Australia and then I won’t be that nervous. It’s always the first game that is the worst but once you’ve hit a few balls it all comes together.”
Wilson only started playing cricket five years ago but is already gearing up for another trip away with England – much to his surprise.
“My friends are very jealous of me getting to go to Australia, it’s a great opportunity and I can’t wait,” he added.
“I think it will be a very exciting match when we play them. There is a big rivalry between the two countries so the build up will be very good leading up to the game.
“Once I started playing cricket I realised I loved the sport, I was only 16 but it was a really exciting time because I learned that I was a lot better at cricket than football.
“Playing cricket is great for meeting new people. Everyone is really friendly and I get along with everyone in the team really well.
“I’ve never been to Australia so I can’t wait to see Melbourne and learn all about a new city.”
ECB is an inclusive organisation providing support and a pathway for disability cricket from grassroots to elite. Follow the England Learning Disability squad in Australia at www.ecb.co.uk. To find out how to get involved in Learning Disability cricket contact your local cricket board.