Perse coach represents England at Cricket World Cup

Picture: Chris Mays

Sean Park was bowled over by his experience of representing England in the inaugural International Masters Cricket O40 World Cup.

The Perse Head of Cricket narrowly missed out on a medal at the tournament in South Africa after England lost to Australia by five wickets in the third-place play-off.

However, it did not dampen his view of the competition, which brought together 12 teams from across the world in Cape Town, especially as he got to play alongside his brother Garry, a former professional with Derbyshire and Durham.

Mr Park, who was selected following trial matches against Ireland and Wales last summer, said: “The weather was fantastic for the majority of the time and we were treated exceptionally well.

“It was a great experience to share with my brother and equally to play in the city where we had spent a little bit of time growing up as kids. We played against guys we knew or had played against in the past.

“I was lucky enough to play in every game and I can’t thank the school enough for giving me the opportunity to go and play because none of this would have been possible otherwise.”

Picture: Chris Mays

Mr Park was on wicketkeeping duty as an England team featuring former international Test batter Nick Compton and ex-Kent all-rounder Darren Stevens got off to a winning start with a five-wicket victory over Zimbabwe.

He said: “My brother and I were at the crease when the winning runs were scored, so it was a special way to start the tournament.”

Following comprehensive successes by 97 runs against the USA and eight wickets over Namibia came Mr Park’s highlight of the World Cup as he scored 35 runs in a nail-biting win by just two runs against Australia.

“We were in trouble at 64 for 5, but there was a good partnership in the middle order and after I came in, we managed to get a few runs to take us to 201,” he said.

“We ended up winning with the last ball of the game, which was good considering where we had been earlier in the game. Both teams were very evenly matched, full of batting and bowling and very athletic in the field.”

Picture: Chris Mays

England topped their group after beating Canada by nine wickets to set up a showdown with South Africa in the semi-finals, where they lost by 17 runs.

They went on to meet Australia again as their opponents gained revenge for their group-stage defeat in the third-place play-off.

Mr Park said: “We just didn’t score enough runs and fell short, but it could easily have gone the other way. We were just disappointed not to make the final, although we lost to the team that went on to win it.”

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