Derbyshire spinner Critchley set to head for Dubai with England Lions

Matthew Critchley is relishing the chance to train with the England Lions in Dubai.
Matthew Critchley is relishing the chance to train with the England Lions in Dubai.

Derbyshire’s Matt Critchley says the chance to train with England Lions in Dubai this month will be a great opportunity for him to enhance his game ahead of the new season.

The 19-year-old leg-spinner will join Elite Performance Director Graeme Welch in helping the England Lions prepare for their five-match 50-over series with Pakistan A.

He will get the chance to work with former England Head Coach Andy Flower as well as experienced internationals who have been selected for the tour.

“I’ll be training with some of the best players in the country which will improve my own game,” Critchley said.

“It’s a new experience that I am looking forward to. I will experience different pitches, different conditions and learn new skills.

“Andy Flower is one of the best coaches that this country has ever had. I will try to learn from him and all of the other coaches that will be out there.

“Graeme Welch is going out there too so I will work with him and the other players to build my knowledge of the game.

“There will be some great players out there including Stephen Parry who has played for England recently so he may be able to help me in terms of Twenty20 and 50-over cricket. I will try to pick up any tips that I can then apply to myself.”

Critchley added: “I did some net bowling at Loughborough and a bit of training before the break and then got a call from Andy Flower just before Christmas to say I was going out.

“I did a bit of training with the England Lions’ spinners who went away before Christmas as well as all the training we’ve been doing here at Derbyshire.

“My career in cricket has moved incredibly quickly in the past 12 months. This time last year I was in New Zealand and then came back to be told I would be playing first-class cricket in a few weeks.

“Everything is going in the right direction. Hopefully I can continue to develop over the next couple of years.

“The proper build up for the lads starts now ahead of the new season and I am aiming to be in that side for the first match of the season against Gloucestershire.

“Hopefully I will have the right skills in order to fire on all fronts for Derbyshire in the summer.”