Richard Gleeson has expressed ambitions to feature in the next T20 World Cup after finally making his debut for England in the recently concluded series against India. The pacer then revealed he didn’t expect to play for the national team, before opening up about his long back injury.
Richard Gleeson has officially joined the cricket latecomers club after making his debut for the national team at the age of 34. The quick and medium right-hand man impressed in his first appearance for the Three Lions, scalping big wickets from Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and Rishab Panting all in rapid succession. He then recorded figures of 3/15, before adding another wicket to his tally in the final T20I.
With the ICC T20 World Cup just around the corner, the pacer is hoping to secure a spot on the team that will fly to Australia for the showpiece event.
“You want to play on the big occasions, don’t you?” So yes, why not? I’ll just look to the next game and go from there,” Gleeson said at a postgame press conference.
Having first played professional cricket aged 27, the Lancashire-born man has seen a surge over the past decade. Consistent performances in the Natwest T20 Blast eventually allowed him to represent his national team, which Gleeson reveals he cherishes.
“(England selection) was not near my radar. It was just to play at the highest possible level. I just want to keep playing cricket and enjoying it, playing as long as possible. Who knows? If I keep playing, anything can happen,” he said.
The speedster’s first breakthrough came when he was named in the England Lions squad for a 2020 tour of Australia. However, later that year he suffered a stress fracture which left him ruled out for the whole year as well as the first two months of 2021. Nonetheless, Gleeson came back strong to finally make his debut, admitting he never gave up on the dream.
“It wasn’t me who was considering retiring. It is something that would have been imposed on me. (The recovery) was a long and slow process. Unfortunately, because of my age, it takes a bit longer to heal from things like that. But (playing again) makes it all interesting,” he remarked.
Gleeson’s next international assignment is expected to be the three-game T20I series against South Africa later this month.
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