AN inspirational young cricketer who beat cancer two years ago has been selected to play for England.
Myerscough College Cricket student, Callum Flynn, 16, had to undergo major knee replacement surgery after he was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer on his 14th birthday.
He is now fitted with a hi-tech titanium knee - yet despite having to undergo intensive chemotherapy for the cancer and physiotherapy on his leg, has still managed to pursue his cricketing ambitions, and has now been selected to play for the England Physical Disability cricket team’s landmark first tour to Dubai in February 2012.
The tour will be the first ever international cricket series between two teams of physically disabled players, where both teams are recognised and endorsed by the governing body of cricket in their country.
The tour will see England take on the Pakistan Physical Disabilities squad for the first time. The series will be three 40-over matches and two Twenty20 matches at the ICC Global Cricket Academy in Dubai in February 2012.
Callum says he can’t wait for it all to begin: “Because it’s the first time ever the England Physical Disability Team has toured I feel very proud to have been selected.
“I can’t wait to get out to Dubai in February and represent England and Myerscough College. They’ve got a very good team but I know we can beat them, but win or lose I’m proud to be part of it and the experience will be incredible.”
Playing cricket from a young age for Swinton Moorside, close to his home in Leigh, Callum was first selected to play for his country in 2010. His record as an opening batsman is first-class with the young star hitting 80 on his debut. Callum added: “Being on the Cricket Studies Course at Myerscough has really helped. I get to train with some of the best young cricket players in the country and it really pushes me to want to be better. I can’t always take part in all the training as my knee does hurt sometimes, but my coaches send me to the gym to work on my fitness…they don’t let me get away with anything!
“To get ready for playing in the hot weather, my England coaches have had us train and play in bin bags and woolly jumpers. It’s really hard work but what we need to be ready for Dubai.”
Myerscough College, where Callum studies the Level 3 BTEC Extended Diploma in Cricket Studies, are especially proud of their young superstar.
Richard Dearden, Head of Cricket, said: “Everyone at the Myerscough College Cricket Academy wants to congratulate Callum.
“His selection to play for England is fantastic news, and just reward for all the hard work he’s put in since coming to Myerscough. His commitment to the course and to cricket is outstanding, both in the gym and classroom. Everyone here wishes him the best of luck. We’re confident he’ll go out there in February and do us and his country proud.”
ECB National Disability Cricket Manager Ian Martin said: “I am very much looking forward to seeing Physical Disabilities cricket played on the international stage.
“It is just reward for our talented squad of players to be able to compete at the highest level and fantastic for the profile of disability cricket that matches will take place at the ICC Global Cricket Academy, whilst England men also play in the UAE.”