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Rigby makes birthday wish

Shaun Rigby

Shaun Rigby celebrates his 24th birthday tomorrow, which falls on the same day as England's first Twenty20 match with Pakistan

Rather than blowing out candles on a cake, England Physical Disability all-rounder Shaun Rigby hopes to celebrate his birthday by blowing away Pakistan.

The Shropshire cricketer turns 24 on Saturday, which is the same day as England's first Twenty20 with Pakistan at Dubai's Global Cricket Academy.

While other birthday boys might be hoping for an evening of high-jinx, Rigby is planning something a little different.

Gone are the candles, champagne and cake to be replaced by floodlights, Red Bull and a high-carb lunch. But Rigby would not have it any other way.

"I'm really looking forward to the first game," he told ecb.co.uk.

"It's on my birthday. My ideal present would be to win the first game, score some runs and take some wickets.

"There won't be any birthday drinks. I don't really drink anyway so it doesn't really affect me.

"I'll be having an early night before my birthday and that'll be the same for the rest of the squad. We want to be fresh for that first game. It'll be the same on Saturday night as it's a double-header."

England Physical Disability

The England Physical Disability squad take a deserved drinks break during a training session at the Global Cricket Academy

Before that first game Rigby and his team-mates will need to adapt to the change in temperature. Since leaving behind a winter wonderland at Birmingham Airport, the England squad have trained in bright sunshine in the United Arab Emirates.

"It's a good temperature," he said. "It's like a summer's day back in England. It took a while to get used to the heat though.

"It's been really good so far. It's the first time I have been to Dubai. Everywhere you look is just buildings."

Rigby, who is also reserve wicketkeeper, flew to Dubai on Monday with the rest of England Physical Disability squad, who are scheduled to play two Twenty20s and three one-day internationals against Pakistan.

It is a tour of special significance, being the first international series between two teams of physically disabled players where both are recognised and endorsed by the governing body of cricket in their country.

"As a squad, we are all proud to have been picked to represent England," said Rigby. "For disability cricket this is a great opportunity and hopefully people will take notice."