LEIGH cricketer Callum Flynn was just 16 when he embarked on his first international tour – this time around he wasn’t so overwhelmed by the occasion.
Now 19, Flynn joined the England Physical Disability squad last month for their trip to Dubai, taking on Pakistan in three T20s and three ODIs.
In February 2012 a 16-year-old Flynn, studying at Bedford High School, was part of England’s first ever touring squad, picking up just one win in Dubai against Pakistan.
They fell short again last month, losing both the T20 and ODI series 2-1, but Flynn impressed with the bat and he believes England are well on their way to surpassing their Pakistan counterparts.
“Two years ago it was a bit surreal personally,” he said. “I was only 16 and coming on an international tour was a bit crazy. This time I just enjoyed every moment really.
“We made mistakes, dropped catches and suffered middle-order collapses but 80 or 90 per cent of the cricket was good. We are getting into winning positions.
“But we definitely let them off the hook in probably every game. We were rolling them over for 80 per cent of the game and letting ourselves down.
“They executed their plans a little better than us – that was the main difference.”
The 2012 tour came just two years after Flynn was diagnosed with bone cancer and he now plays with a metal knee replacement.
At 19 he is still one of the youngest members of a youthful England squad, beaten by a Pakistan outfit with an average age somewhere north of 30.
But Flynn, who plays his club cricket for Swinton Moorside, knows youth is no excuse as it could soon be a major factor in England overtaking their opponents.
“I don’t think we can use it as an excuse – we have all played a high standard of cricket at our clubs,” he added. “Cricket is a simple game but we are making it complicated.
“One of the best things about this squad is the team morale. We always have a laugh and we do pick ourselves up pretty quickly after a defeat.
“There have been quite a few days where we have felt disappointed but we are all strong lads and we all take defeat well and we all soon move on from it.
“We will have a bit of reflection time after the tour and it will be only two weeks and then straight into the cricket season with our clubs. I can’t wait for it.”
Follow the England Physical Disability squad at www.ecb.co.uk -Ends-