Photo Credit: ECB
England Men’s Physical Disability batter Jamie Goodwin previews their tour of India.
Batter Jamie Goodwin still hasn’t forgotten the pain of defeat against India in the 2019 Physical Disability World Cricket Series final – and he insists the entire England Men’s PD squad is determined to put things right in the coming days.
Speaking just hours before the team’s departure from Manchester for a two-week, five-match tour of India, Goodwin believed the focus has ratcheted up.
He said: “This tour has snuck up on us with Christmas being just a couple of weeks ago, but we can’t wait and we’re ready to go.
“We lost to India in the final of the World Series in 2019, so there’s a desire from the squad to put things right and go out there and beat them in their own backyard. The only ambition is to win the series.”
At 30 years old and with two overseas tours under his belt, Goodwin is now one of the squad’s veterans. “There’s still a little bit of nervousness, but there’s also excitement mixed in,” he said.
“We generally meet as a squad once a month, but we’ve spent the last two weekends in training camps at Edgbaston. It’s allowed us to go up in our intensity and really feel confident in our preparation. Everyone seems in a good place.”
He added: “On a personal level, I finished 2019 opening the batting and feeling strong. Since then, new people have come in and hit form, so my ambitions are to make sure I get in the team and then take the chance when I get there.”
However, Goodwin expects plenty of challenges along the way.
“There are only about four names we recognise in the India squad, so in some respects we’re going into the unknown,” he said. “All we can do is make sure we’ve done everything we can to put ourselves in the best possible place – and that’s exactly what we’ve done.
“I went to Bangladesh in 2015, but India is a new destination for me. We’re expecting it to be a little bit crazy, so we’ve just got to focus on what we can control in terms of our training and preparation.”
Goodwin has joined one of his closest friends on tour. When he was diagnosed with bone cancer aged 16, receiving a metal replacement for his femur, he was told he would never run or jump again. But he met current England Men’s Physical Disability captain Callum Flynn, who had been through the same process only two years earlier – and a deep and inspirational bond quickly developed.
“Callum’s an unreal player,” said Goodwin, “He’ll lead from the front and then when you add in Liam O’Brien and Angus Brown, it’s a real powerhouse through the middle for us. They all hit the ball so well in the winter nets. The other one to watch out for is Brendon Parr. He’s just come in in the last few months, but he strikes the ball incredibly hard.”
He continued: “My dad passed away at the end of 2022. He was such an important figure for me. He was one of those guys who never praised your performance, but he was always incredibly proud of you. Growing up, it was him and my older brother Andrew who guided me. Then with England, I’ve been fortunate to play under Qasim Ali, Ian Salisbury, and Chris Highton. I want to do them all proud.
“The people that were there in Bangladesh (when England were crowned world champions), we look back on it now and think it was two of the best weeks of our lives. The bonds you get and the relationships you build with everyone in the squad mean it’s such a special experience whenever you go on tour. Touring abroad and playing for England is the pinnacle for any athlete – and I’m no different. We can’t wait to get started.”
England Men’s Physical Disability Team India Tour Fixtures
Sunday 28 January India v England, Narendra Modi Stadium, 10am
Tuesday 30 January India v England, Narendra Modi Stadium, 10am
Thursday 1 February India v England, Gujarat College, 10am
Saturday 3 February India v England, Railway Ground, 10am
Tuesday 6 February India v England, Narendra Modi Stadium, 10am