Williams dares to dream
England Physical Disabilities captain James Williams says leading the side in the forthcoming limited-overs matches with Pakistan in Dubai will be a dream come true.
England travel to the Middle East next month for three one-day internationals and two Twenty20s scheduled at the ICC Global Cricket Academy ground in Dubai.
This will be the first international cricket series between two teams of physically disabled players where both are recognised and endorsed by the governing body of cricket in their country.
"I'm very privileged to be captain," Williams told ecb.co.uk.
"Playing for England at any level in any sport is a big thing and I am very honoured just to be selected for the international series. Being captain though is a dream come true. I'm honoured to lead a group of 15 players to Dubai.
"I hope this will leave a legacy. Hopefully this is the first of many international series and long may they continue."
With the squad announced back in October, Williams says the news has finally sunk in especially with the departure date of February 6 looming large on the horizon.
Initial nerves have been replaced by a sense of excitement although apprehension about what lies ahead is never far from the captain's mind.
"I'm very excited," he said. "There is a sense of realism that we are going now. I have lots of things going through my mind.
"Getting the players mentally ready is going to be something we focus on when we meet up at Loughborough in a fortnight. They have been working hard and have all stepped up a level in their training. They are beginning to see the benefits."
Williams admitted that information on their opponents is scarce but added help is at hand through a rather unlikely source.
"My kids have been researching it on YouTube but it's not easy finding out information on them," said Williams.
However, he expects the England team to be fully prepared when they line up for the first T20 on February 11.
"Pakistan are a bit of an unknown quantity and it's hard to know what their strengths and weaknesses are. That hasn't stopped Chris Ellison (head coach) and I discussing potential game plans."