T20 World Cup 2021: England’s David Willey says, “I’m playing every game as if it’s my last”

David Willey | Getty Images

England all-rounder David Willey on Thursday (October 21) said that he is really savoring the moment of wearing an England shirt at the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 while recalling his heartbreaking dropping from the national squad just before the 2019 World Cup at home.

Willey, the son of former England batsman and Test umpire Peter Willey, was left out of the England squad for then international newcomer Jofra Archer on the eve of the World Cup 2019 at home despite being a regular in the 50-over format and the bowler said it will remain a painful memory of his career.

However, the 31-year-old said that the dropping had a significant impact on his personal growth and inspired him to refocus on enjoying cricket, and he eventually regained his place in the England squad for the ICC T20 World Cup 2021 in the UAE and Oman.

Ahead of England’s opening game in the T20 World Cup 2021 against the West Indies on Saturday, October 23, the left-arm seamer said he treats every game as if it is his last and revealed how the bowlers are preparing to tackle dew in the UAE in the global tournament.

Willey told a conference call on Thursday“I don’t think anything that happens in my cricketing career will ever be as bad or disappointing as that. But I think the personal growth from me thereon, and probably just refocusing on enjoying my cricket, has been massive for me.”

He continued, “It’s probably why I’m sat here today, back playing for England. I’m playing every game as if it’s my last and really savoring the moment of pulling on that England shirt.”

Meanwhile, England bowlers have been soaking their hands in buckets of water during training sessions to get the feel of using a ball saturated by evening dew, as four of their five Super 12 games of the T20 World Cup take place at night in the UAE.

He explained, “The biggest thing for the seamers, towards the back end when you’re sweating the most, is being confident about bowling Yorkers. The margin for error when you’re doing that is so small.”

Willey signed off by saying, “You can become a little bit more nervous about bowling no-balls and flat ones when that ball is wet. All you can do is practice. Even if it’s just dunking balls in buckets and catching, fielding and bowling with these wet balls.”