Wright expects World T20 test
Winning the World Twenty20 in the West Indies two years ago was an unforgettable occasion for Luke Wright, but the England all-rounder is relishing the challenge of retaining the sprint format crown even more.
Wright and the rest of England’s 15-man squad fly to Sri Lanka this week aiming to conquer the world, just as they did in the Caribbean under Paul Collingwood’s stewardship.
But while Collingwood’s men thrived in the Windies’ tropical conditions, the pitches on the sub-continent pose an entirely different proposition for Stuart Broad’s side this time around.
Nevertheless Wright, who marked his return to the international fold in a rain-affected clash against South Africa with a brisk 14 and a wicket at Old Trafford on Monday, welcomes the opportunity to showcase his talents on a more testing surface.
Wright told ecb.co.uk: “It’s always going to be tough in the sub-continent with those conditions compared to what we had in the West Indies, but I think that makes it all the more exciting for the challenge that we’re going to have.
“If we can go there and win it, it gives us a boost for all other tours to the sub-continent.”
Only eight of the victorious squad from 2010, of which Wright is one, will be involved in England’s defence this time out.
So while Sussex’s opener may have been on the fringes of the England set-up over the past 24 months, his experience in major international tournaments could be invaluable.
Broad’s men begin their defence in Colombo on September 21 against Afghanistan and Wright has warned his team-mates not to take the conditions, or the opposition, lightly.
"It’s always got a chance of spin out there,” he added. “The wickets are not always the bounciest, (you are batting) probably more on the front foot, generally. I’m not yet too sure quite how hot it’s going to be, but they’re all different things to combat.
“I spoke to Ed Joyce, who’s with the Irish side, and he’s got to play against Afghanistan a lot and he said how impressed he’s been with them. They’ve got a couple of fast bowlers and he’s said what a good side they are, so we’re going to have to play very good cricket to beat them because they sound like a very dangerous side.”
Wright says he was been driven by a desire to be part of the World Twenty20 squad again, and his bid to convince England’s selectors to reserve a seat on the plane bound for Asia has seen him compete in domestic competitions in Australia, South Africa and India.
It was Down Under where he really shone, plundering a blistering 44-ball century for the Melbourne Stars in the Big Bash League before maintaining his hot streak on the domestic circuit as he helped Sussex to Friends Life t20 finals day.
“It couldn’t have done me any harm going over there and scoring runs all round the world,” concedes Wright.
“Obviously it must promote you; they see you scoring in all those tournaments, showing what you can do.
"It was important for me to back it up in the Twenty20s over here and I was happy to be one of the top run scorers in the group stages. With all of it, it obviously pushed me enough to get me in that 15 (for the World Twenty20), which I was delighted to be in.
“It’s going to be tough in Sri Lanka but I can't wait to start the challenge.”