VIDEO: Doncaster cricketer helps England’s Physical Disability side to international T20 glory

Gordon Laidlaw, third from the right, celebrates with his England teammates. Photo: Firoz Ahmed/ICRC
Gordon Laidlaw, third from the right, celebrates with his England teammates. Photo: Firoz Ahmed/ICRC
0
Have your say

Doncaster cricketer Gordon Laidlaw is feeling on top of the world after helping England win the inaugural ICRC T20 Tournament for people with physical disabilities.

England made history in Bangladesh after beating Pakistan by 19 runs - effectively laying claim to the title of world champions.

They had lost their opening group game against the host nation but wins against India, Pakistan and Afghanistan saw them reach last Thursday’s final.

Mirroring his side’s progression throughout the tournament, opening batsman Laidlaw recovered from a slow start to play a prominent role in England’s thrilling triumph - hitting 41 off 28 balls to get his side off to the perfect start in the final.

After posting a tournament record 175-4, England then restricted Pakistan to 156-7 to lift the trophy.

“To win an international tournament playing for England, it doesn’t really get much better than that,” said Laidlaw, 35, from Adwick-le-Street.

“We’re all extremely proud about what we’ve achieved.

“And the support and reaction we’ve had from family, friends and the media since we got back home has been brilliant.

“It’s fantastic to have won the first ever international tournament of its kind,” he added.

“Effectively it was a World Cup, with it involving all the teams in the world who have a Physical Disability team.

Gordon Laidlaw, pictured with the ICRC T20 trophy.

Gordon Laidlaw, pictured with the ICRC T20 trophy.

“But to have won it in conditions alien to us makes it even more special.”

Laidlaw, who has right-sided hemiplegia, a mild form of Cerebral Palsy, was removed for one against Bangladesh but followed that up with scores of 38 and 21 to help England into the final.

“In the first game I was suffering from a bit of heat exhaustion. We fielded first and I probably wasn’t in the right place mentally,” said Laidlaw, of Sprotbrough Cricket Club.

“But as the tournament went on I got better. As a team we knew we had to adapt quickly to the conditions and we did exactly that.

“Our preparation stood us in good stead. We were probably the fittest team out there and that probably got us over the line in the end.”

He added: “Hopefully this tournament paves the way for an official World Cup. The people of Bangladesh really got behind it and it was an honour to be involved.”