Braithwaite vows to avenge Pakistan loss

First published in Sport

CLITHEROE cricketer Steve Braithwaite has warned Pakistan that he is coming back for more after suffering defeat on his maiden international tour with England last month.

The 28-year-old was part of a 15-strong England Physical Disability squad that travelled to Dubai last month for a six-match Twenty20 and one day international series with Pakistan.

And, although Braithwaite and England put up a strong fight at the ICC Global Cricket Academy, they ultimately left with a sour taste in their mouths as they lost both series 2-1.

Despite losing 4-2 overall, it was still an improvement on their maiden tour to Dubai to play Pakistan in 2012 when England’s squad, not including Braithwaite, arrived home having suffered a 4-1 defeat.

However that was of little consolation to Braithwaite, who plays his club cricket for Ribblesdale Wanderers, and he insists revenge is already on his mind.

“This was my first time away with England and it was absolutely brilliant in terms of an experience, but it would have obviously been better if results had gone our way,” he said.

“We beat Pakistan a couple of times and came close in the other games so we are keeping positive and we believe we are close to winning a series.

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“The team is still a relatively new team and we are a great group of lads who are only going to get better the more international cricket we play.

“So we need to make sure that we take everything on board from this tour, build on the positives and work on the negatives and ensure that we come out on top next time.

“This is the second time we have lost to Pakistan, although it is my first time, and we are determined not to make it three.”

Braithwaite could not have asked for a better start to his international career in Dubai as with his very first delivery for England he took a wicket.

And, while he ended up on the losing side, Braithwaite – a teacher at Darwen St Peter’s Primary School – admits the trip will still live long in his memory.

“Nothing will really prepare you for an international tour and I was very fortunate to be playing with such great lads and fantastic support staff,” he added.

“Playing against such high-quality opposition was fantastic too and to be able to test yourself against the best in the world is what you want.

“We also trained at the ICC Academy over there and that is something else too.

“I have never been on a trip as special as that and it was fantastic, despite the result.”

n Follow the England Physical Disability squad at www.ecb.co.uk

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