All-rounder Matt Critchley says it is an honour to be called up to the England Lions squad and hopes he can show what he can do on the big stage.
The 21-year-old will join the Lions for the three-match one-day series against West Indies A in Antigua, from 6 to 11 March, after impressing on his ECB Overseas Placement in Australia this winter, which included back-to-back hundreds in NSW Premier League.
He has grabbed the attention of the England selectors to become the first Derbyshire player to be named in any England squad since Mark Footitt in 2015, and the first ever to be called up by the England Lions.
Critchley said: “It’s an honour and I’m looking forward to getting out there and getting started. It’s a great opportunity and great to be part of an England squad.
“I phoned my Mum and Dad straight away and also spoke to Stuart MacGill who I have been working with over here. He said he already knew and was having to keep it a secret from me. He’s really pleased.
“Being on the ECB Overseas Placement for my second winter, and scoring a few hundreds and taking wickets, this is a massive reward and the guys at Fairfield Liverpool have helped me a lot. They are a great club.”
Critchley trained with the Lions in Brisbane during the Ashes series and he now hopes he can take his opportunity in the full Lions squad and impress the coaching staff.
He added: “I’m excited to get out there and hopefully play a few games. But if not, I want to get amongst it, learn as much as I can and show them what skills I have. It will be good to see how they prepare and go about their business.
“I did pretty well with Derbyshire last year and want to kick on next year, and my experiences this winter will certainly help me.
“It’s full on being out in Australia for four or five months, then going to the West Indies and then I’ll probably be straight into pre-season at Derby when I’m back. But it should be good preparation for the season and hopefully I can earn a place in the team for Derbyshire and try and hit the ground running.”
Last chance! To celebrate the signing of all-rounder Mitchell Santner, we’re offering Club Membership for the discounted price of £149, if purchased before 21 February. Use promo code ‘Mitch149‘ online.