Past gives Flynn perspective
When England's Physical Disabilities squad travel to the United Arab Emirates to face Pakistan on Monday, there will be no member of the touring party more grateful for the opportunity than Callum Flynn.
Flynn, now aged just 16, feared his dreams of even playing cricket again were over two years ago after he was diagnosed with bone cancer.
However, things have changed for the better considerably since then and the batsman, having battled the illness and recovered from a subsequent knee replacement, will be one of the 15-man squad making the trip.
He told ecb.co.uk: “This is a massive boost for me.
“Two years ago, I never thought I would play cricket again and then when I did start playing again, I just always wanted to play for England and now I am and wearing the Three Lions - it’s just unbelievable.”
Flynn admits his emotions upon hearing about his inclusion in the squad were a stark contrast to the ones he experienced two years ago.
He added: “I burst out crying when I found out I got cancer - it was the worst moment of my life.
“But when I found out I was playing for England, it was the best time of my life - I cannot put it into words.”
It is stories like Flynn’s that make the upcoming series - the first of its kind between two teams of physically disabled players where both are recognised and endorsed by the governing body of cricket in their country - so important.
The teenager, who last year was named Britain’s Kindest Kid after raising £15,000 for the Bone Cancer Research Trust (BCRT), is certainly looking forward to the challenge.
“Now I am back on the cricket field, I just want to play everyday,” he added.
“I just love it and if I am picked to play the first game, I’ll obviously be nervous but very excited as well.
“I cannot wait - it is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, so it’s just a proud moment just to be a part of it.”