Iain Nairn, captain of the England Physical Disability (PD) cricket team, has announced his retirement from international cricket after a career spanning seven years.
The 39-year-old Durham native, who plays with a prosthetic right leg, represented his county up to the age of 18 and played for Chester-le-Street CC in able-bodied cricket before joining the England PD squad in 2012, shortly after its creation.
Becoming captain in 2014, Nairn led the team to victory in the first ever global Physical Disability Cricket tournament the following year, lifting the trophy in the T20 World Series organised by the Red Cross.
This summer he guided England to the final of the Physical Disability World Series in Worcester – a tournament that shone a light on the worldwide growth of PD cricket since Nairn’s first involvement seven years ago.
In total, Nairn has represented England more than 20 times and has played a huge part in the team’s improvements over the past eight years.
Nairn said: “I’m so fortunate to have experienced everything I have for England and I’m also jealous of the lads who will continue to do it, but the time is right for me to go out while still being a valued member of the team and knowing I’ve got an exciting future at home.
“We’ve now got four people under the age of 20 who are mainstays in the team, but even now the ‘old hands’ are only reaching their mid-20s.
“If they can get towards my age and still be playing, they’re going to have another 13 years left of playing for England and it’s exciting to think where disability cricket will be in 13 years’ time given the steps we’ve made in the last seven.
“The biggest part of it, for me, is seeing the development of their interpersonal skills and their personalities outside of the game.
“A lot of disabled people don’t have high self-worth or self-confidence, and we’ve seen those things really develop in this group over the last seven years.
“Seeing individuals achieving personal success is as much part of the game as it is them scoring fifties and taking wickets.
“I would encourage anyone with a disability to have a look at disability sport as a way to improving their lives and health.”
Ian Salisbury, Head Coach of the England Physical Disability team, said: “Iain has been a fantastic servant to English cricket and it has been an absolute pleasure to work with him over the past few years.
“The phrase ‘model professional’ springs to mind, but let’s remember that Iain, like all of our disability cricketers, has balanced a full-time job and his family commitments throughout his England career.
“His attitude towards sport, captaincy and life is exemplary and he has been an incredible role model. He is not only a fantastic cricketer, but also a fantastic human being who is the epitome of ‘anything is possible’, and I’m lucky to have a friend for life.”
Ian Martin, ECB Head of Disability Cricket
Ian Martin, ECB Head of Disability Cricket, said: “I want to express my huge gratitude to Iain and congratulate him on such a fantastic international career.
“While we work to provide our England Disability Cricket teams with the best possible opportunities, it’s really down to people like Iain performing to a high standard on the pitch that we’re able to grow the game in the UK and around the world.
“His passion for the sport and for the team is remarkable and the work he does to promote awareness of disability cricket is inspirational.
“Iain has led from the front in his five years of captaincy, during which the standard of physical disability cricket has raised immensely.
“I’m sure that even in retirement, Iain will continue to be a positive force for cricket in this country and our PD players will continue to build on the foundations he has laid.”