A businessman who lost his right foot when he was a child will bat for England in a six-match series against Pakistan.
Iain Nairn, 33, will fly to Dubai in March as vice-Captain of England’s Physical Disability cricket team in a bid to avenge their 2-1 loss in 2012.
Iain said: “It is a huge privilege to be able to represent your country at the sport you love. Being involved in the leadership of the team as vice captain makes it even more special.
“We’re the only two recognised physically disabled teams in the world at the minute, so in effect it’s a battle to be number 1 in the world.
“For me, it’s a dream that I’ve had for years – I’ve grown up playing cricket and as a kid was desperate to play for England.
“We’re going out there to win all of the games and we’ve certainly got the skill to do that. Everyone’s two years older than they were last time.”
Iain, who attended Royal Grammar School in Jesmond and now runs his own insolvency practice, had his leg amputated from the ankle at 16 months old after the bones in his foot failed to form.
As a teen he played under-19 cricket at Durham County with future cricketers including Ashes 2005 hero Gary Pratt, but was unable to move into higher leagues.
Since then the Gateshead-born batsman has held his own in mainstream leagues at Newcastle Cricket Club since 2005, and captained the team which won the North East Premier League second division title in 2007.
After going through 30 different prosthetic legs in his lifetime he helps out younger players on the PD squad who have lost limbs more recently.
Iain said: “There is definitely a need for us to understand each other’s disabilities and what our strengths are and equally what our weaknesses are so we can get the best out of each other.
“I’ve grown up without a leg, but there are people who’ve lost limbs through accidents or cancer, You’ve got to understand your own physicality and that of those around.
“When I first joined this squad I was a bit concerned about it, because I have never really considered myself disabled. I thought, ‘is this just going to be 20 people wallowing in self-pity?’
“Actually it’s far from that. When the going gets tough there is a droll sense of humour and everyone is very accepting of others’ abilities.”
Doug Hudson, fixtures secretary for Newcastle Cricket Club, said: “Iain’s recognition at international level is a tribute to his positive attitude and ability.
“He is an aggressive opening bat who has scored over 2000 runs for the seconds in the NEPL and captained the side in 2007 to the 2nd Division title as well as winning the Banks Bowl.”