Spinner Fred Bridges will be gunning for international glory after bowling his way into the England Disability Squad for their upcoming tour of the UAE.
The Broadbridge Heath left armer has been named in the 15-man squad to play a six-match series against Pakistan in Dubai, starting on March 16.
The side will play a mixture of One Day Internationals and Twenty20s, all at the ICC Global Cricket Academy in Dubai.
“It’s a great honour and a great opportunity for myself to be called up again for England,” Bridges said reacting to the news.
The talented youngster was part of the very first England Physical Disability team to contest an official overseas series in 2012. And having been outplayed on that occasion by a more experienced Pakistan side in the UAE, the 23-year-old thinks things could be different the second time around.
“I had a good series last time on a personal level and I’m looking forward to contributing again, hopefully to a winning side. Last time round they were far more experienced but this time I think we’ll be able to put up a good fight over the series.”
The England side will play the six matches over a 14-day period in blistering heat, and Bridges believes fitness and recovery will be key.
Fred, who is based in Warnham, has been the captain of Surrey’s Learning and Physical Impairment County side for the past three years and is also doing some coaching at Sussex, who are putting more emphasis on disability cricket.
Fred enjoyed another fine season at club level, he was leading wicket-taker with 56 scalps as Broadbridge Heath mounted a promotion challenge before their season tailed off.
Fred works for Horsham District Council as a multi-sports coach, visiting local schools to help young pupils improve a range of sports.
He is a big advocate of disability sport, which he believes is going from strength to strength. “I like to get involved as much as I can in disability cricket in the south,” he commented.
“Over the last couple of years opportunities in disability sports are increasing all the time, have become more professional and better supported by the ECB. Long may that continue.”