England vs Pakistan 2021 – Danny Briggs on surprise England recall

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Warwickshire spinner could play first match for England since 2014 after Covid reshuffle

Danny Briggs is promising not to put too much pressure on himself as he makes a return to the England set-up that he admits he thought would never happen.
It’s seven-and-a-half years since Briggs last played a T20I for England and almost a decade since his only ODI. But now aged 30, and called up to the hastily-picked squad for the ODI series against Pakistan after the original squad were ruled out due to Covid protocols, he believes he has the experience to cope with whatever the next few weeks throw at him.

“I was 21 when I was first picked for England,” Briggs told ESPNcricinfo. “And 23 when I played my last game. It’s very young, isn’t it?

“Looking back, I put too much pressure on myself. I don’t think I’d ever experienced any lows in cricket before then and I sort of expected to be successful.

“I think I tried too hard, really. I was trying to impress other people. Obviously it’s great to play for your country, but I’m not sure I enjoyed it as much as I should have done, really.

“It’s an odd situation now, but it’s an incredible opportunity, too. This time, I’m going to try to take it all in. I’m going to do my best, of course, but I want to try and enjoy every minute of it.”

Briggs has been a consistent performer in T20 cricket for years. His tally of 184 wickets in England’s domestic T20 competition is more than anyone else and, of those in the top 39 wicket-takers, only three men (Jeetan Patel, Stephen Parry and Imran Tahir) have lower economy-rates than his 7.16.

But while he has always bowled his left-arm spin with impressive control, he now feels he has the experience to optimise his variations. And he hopes his positive experience in the most recent BBL season – only six men who delivered more than 30 overs had a better economy-rate than his 7.41 – bodes well for his return to the top level.

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