A CRICKETER has spoken of his pride and the excitement of playing for his country in the U19s World Cup.
Rob Jones, who is studying BTEC Performance and Excellence Level 3 at Priestley College, was credited with helping England finish third in the competition last month.
The 18-year-old, from Stockton Heath, said: “It was the best experience of my life. The intensity and pressure was immense, but it was an incredible moment to play for England in a world cup.”
Rob, a former Bridgewater High School pupil, and the team competed in the United Arab Emirates for several weeks in February.
His final stand against India in the quarterfinals helped England over the finishing line.
“Nothing comes close to that moment,” he said. “I was just trying to stay cool under pressure and knock the ball around for ones. I realised then how badly I wanted to win.”
England also enjoyed a victory over Australia earlier in the tournament, but fell short in the semi-finals against Pakistan.
“We took it to the wire, but to lose after you’ve put everything in for seven hours leaves you devastated,” said Rob.
“Across the competition I feel I contributed in all areas, fielding, batting and bowling so I am pleased with my performance.”
Rob’s BTEC programme is aimed at top athletes and supports them in their personal development without compromising the specialist training and experiences they gain from their own sport.
One of the key advantages of the programme at Priestley is that athletes like Rob are able to cope with time away from the college whilst remotely continuing their studies so that they still achieve the highest grades possible.
Now that he has returned to England Rob will complete his course and head back into action for Lancashire’s second XI and Toft this summer.
The leg-break bowler, who started playing cricket at Stretton when he was boy, is now hoping to play for England against South Africa in summer.
“To be placed third in the world is a good achievement, but obviously the goal for me is to continue to improve every time I step out onto the pitch,” he said.