Thomas expects frosty reception Down Under on his England debut

PUBLISHED: 15:13 10 February 2015 | UPDATED: 15:13 10 February 2015

Daniel Thomas poses during the Learning Disabilities Tri-Series Training Camp on February 8 in Shrewsbury. Picture: Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Daniel Thomas poses during the Learning Disabilities Tri-Series Training Camp on February 8 in Shrewsbury. Picture: Jan Kruger/Getty Images

2015 Getty Images

Saffron Walden’s Daniel Thomas admits he is preparing himself for an intimidating atmosphere Down Under when he lines up for England’s Learning Disabilities cricket team next month.

Thomas is part of a 15-man squad that will travel out to Melbourne for four one-day internationals and two T20 matches against Australia, the first match getting underway on March 14.

The 20-year-old, who plays for Saffron Walden Cricket Club, believes there is no rivalry in sport that compares with England versus Australia. And Thomas admits he has to pinch himself with amazement to think that he will get a taste of it next month, even if he is expecting a less than friendly welcome on his international debut.

“It’s the big one, Australia versus England,” former Saffron Walden County High School pupil Thomas said. “That’s why I got involved in the sport in the first place - to experience that sort of competitive spirit.

“I watched the 2005 Ashes series and it made me want to play cricket. I felt really inspired to develop the same skills and feel the same atmosphere as those players were feeling. I can’t wait to experience the rivalry between England and Australia. I might be making my debut so that would be very exciting but just to be out there with the team is amazing.

“And I think we can have a successful tour too. I know England beat Australia a few times recently so they will be eager for revenge but I think we have a team capable of beating them again.”

Thomas is joined in the squad by fellow Essex cricketers Ronnie Jackson and Matt Cowdery, who have been integral in helping him to adjust to the international set-up. Thomas’ dad will also be out in Australia to cheer his son on and the batsman acknowledges that it will be comforting to have this support while he is out in Melbourne.

“I don’t usually get nervous but it will be nice to have my dad watching and encouraging me when I’m on the pitch,” he added. “I come from a big cricketing family. My dad, my brother and me all play for Saffron Walden, which is really fun. My brother is in a different age group but we still practice together sometimes. We’re quite competitive with each other.

“I’d like to think I’m better than my brother but if you ask him you’ll get a different answer.”

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 To find out how to get involved in Learning Disability cricket contact your local cricket board.

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