Cricket: England star Laidlaw is on revenge mission in Dubai

Gordon Laidlaw
Gordon Laidlaw

Gordon Laidlaw insists lightning won’t strike twice against Pakistan.

Opening batsman Laidlaw, of Adwick-le-Street, is part of England’s 15-man Physical Disability squad currently on tour in Dubai.

England launch only their second ever international series tomorrow with the first of three T20s, the forerunner to a three-match ODI series.

Laidlaw, 33, is not heading into the unknown after being part of the maiden tour to Dubai two years ago.

On that occasion England claimed an ODI victory against Pakistan but they were eventually beaten by their more experienced opponents in both the 40-over and 20-over series’.

This time around Laidlaw, who plays for Rockingham in the South Yorkshire League, is hoping to exact some revenge – grateful for his previous experience second time around.

“It was a bit of a learning curve for us last time, it was tough with quite an inexperienced and young side,” said Laidlaw, who has right-sided hemiplegia, a form of cerebral palsy that affects the right side of his body.

“I think this time we know what to prepare for so we’re more ready than we probably were last time.

“It was like going into the unknown, both with the weather out in Dubai and also what the Pakistan team were going to be like.

“We anticipated that they would have a lot of spinners, but we didn’t know quite how many.

“We now know a little bit more about their mobility and what they’re like in the field.

“Last time it was a bit of guesswork really and seeing how we went as we went along.

“Pakistan had been together as a team for seven years by 2012, whereas we’d been playing for only a year and a half.

“We’ve got a good team spirit now, we’re all good friends and we know each other’s games a bit more.”

Having played mainstream cricket for more than two decades, as well as representing Yorkshire in the Disability County Championship, Laidlaw heads to Dubai as one of the more experienced members of England’s team.

However, he is not about to get ahead of himself and make promises before a ball has even been bowled.

“I haven’t set myself any specific targets for the tour, I just want to make sure that when I come to the crease that I can take the innings through to the end,” he said.

“I set some targets last time and I had to adjust them as we went on.

“I’m not one for saying that I’m going to score 200 runs in four games, as if I fail in the first game then there’s extra pressure on you straight away.

“I aim to score a hundred every game!”

Watch England Physical Disability’s T20 games live at www.ecb.co.uk.