England Cricket World Cup call-up for Perse coach

Picture: Chris Mays

Sean Park hopes to be a big hitter after being selected for the England squad for next year’s inaugural International Masters Cricket 040 World Cup.

The Perse Head of Cricket has been called up for the competition in South Africa, which will feature 12 teams from across the globe, in February.

England have been drawn in the same group as Australia, Zimbabwe, the USA, Canada and Namibia for the tournament in Cape Town, with the top two going through to the semi-finals and the remaining sides playing off for placings.

Mr Park, who will be joined in the England squad by brother Garry, a former professional with Durham and Derbyshire, is excited about the challenge ahead following his selection.

He said: “I’m buzzing and I can’t thank the school enough for giving me the time off to go out there to play.

“Going back home will be nice (Mr Park originally hails from South Africa), but having the opportunity to represent England is fantastic, especially with my brother as we haven’t played together since we were at Cambridge Granta over a decade ago.”

The England O40 squad was only launched this year and Mr Park was picked for the World Cup after impressing in two trial matches during the summer.

He top-scored with 44 and took 1 for 54 on his debut in a 53-run defeat to Ireland and made two stumping as wicketkeeper in a seven-wicket win over Wales.

Mr Park, who played for Cambridgeshire and Minor Counties select team Unicorns, will be in good company with the World Cup squad also featuring former England and Durham wicketkeeper Phil Mustard, ex-Kent all-rounder Darren Stevens and former Glamorgan player Graham Wagg.

Pictures: Chris Mays

“There are a lot of people who have played county cricket somewhere along the line and are still playing (county/regional) Premier League cricket around the UK, but everyone is in the same boat. We’re all 40-plus and love our cricket and still have that competitive element to play,” he said.

“Because we are all of a similar age and a lot of us have played against or with each other in the past, it’s very friendly, supportive and enjoyable to be involved in.”

The squad will be meeting once a month prior to the World Cup for training sessions, with the aim of creating the best balance to the side possible in terms of batting and bowling outside of the regular cricket season.

Mr Park, who now plays for East Anglian Premier League side Bury St Edmunds, added: “We’ll be looking to hone our skills and develop partnerships, but it will be the summer out there, so it’s a case of getting fit and up to speed with the demands of potentially seven days of cricket.

“When you look at our squad, we hope to do well. We don’t know what the opposition are going to be like and there are so many uncontrollable things, such as games affected by the weather, but there’s a positive mindset with the squad.

“Even though it will be competitive, I think the tournament will be played in the right spirit and I can’t wait.”

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