Every English cricketer dreams of playing against Australia.
And one former Ripley St Thomas pupil will get just that chance when he heads Down Under next month.
Thomas Wilson has been selected as part of a 15-man England Learning Disabilities squad that will travel out to Melbourne to take part in four one-day internationals and two T20 matches starting on March 17.
The 21-year-old from Scorton, who plays for Kirkby Lonsdale Cricket Club and Lancashire, first travelled with England to Holland last July.
He said: “It was the first time away from my parents.
“I got a bit homesick at first but it was also really nice to be out there on my own.
“Going to Australia is exciting but also nerve-wracking. I want to make sure I do well for everyone at home.
“I think I just need to get the first game out of the way when we get to Australia and I’ll be fine.
“It’s always the first game that is the worst but once you’ve hit a few balls it all comes together.”
The batsman only took up the game five years ago after when playing as a goalkeeper for Galgate FC he was drafted in to play as a wicketkeeper for the village cricket team.
Wilson said: “I started quite late really.
“But once I started playing cricket I realised I loved the sport, I was only 16 but it was a really exciting time because I learned that I was a lot better at cricket than football.
“Playing cricket is great for meeting new people. Everyone is really friendly and I get along with everyone in the team really well.”
Wilson, along with mum Liz and dad Ian who will be there supporting, will be making his first trip to Australia when he flies out on Sunday, March 8.
He said: “This is as good as it gets playing against Australia.
“I’m only 21 and there will be a lot of lads who are older than me in the team.
“I got into disability cricket after reading about (disability cricket star) Callum Flynn and looked up playing for Lancashire.
“It’s great to have got to the top level and now I want to stay there.”
ECB is an inclusive organisation providing support and a pathway for disability cricket from grassroots to elite. Follow the England Learning Disability squad in Australia at www.ecb.co.uk. To find out how to get involved in Learning Disability cricket contact your local cricket board