A Durham-based insolvency and restructuring practitioner is gearing up to captain his country to glory in the world’s biggest physical disability cricket tournament.
Iain Nairn, who by day crunches numbers for struggling companies at business advisory firm Baldwins, is preparing to lead his England side in the Physical Disability Cricket World Series between August 5-13 in Worcestershire.
The six-team T20 series will feature England, Pakistan, India, Afghanistan and Bangladesh – with Zimbabwe entering for the first time – and the final being held at Blackfinch New Road on August 13.
It will be a far cry from what a lot of England’s players do for a living, but for Iain, cricket and numbers go hand-in-hand.
“I enjoy problem solving and making a difference on a human level,” said Iain, who had his right foot amputated as a toddler.
“Whether I’m helping a business owner because they are under financial pressure and don’t know where to turn, or if I’m helping one of our bowlers decide how he is going to approach the next ball after being hit for six – it’s about having a calm head and using your experience to think rationally.”
Nairn led England to a runners-up spot in last year’s T20 Tri-Series Tournament with Bangladesh and Pakistan on home soil, and is hoping to go one better this time round to defend the World Series crown that they won back in Bangladesh in 2015.
Juggling a busy life with Baldwins and England comes with its sacrifices, as Iain explains.
“There are a lot of early and late gym sessions and weekends spent travelling to be in the cricket nets, but that’s part and parcel of being an elite businessman and athlete,” he added.
“I honestly couldn’t call who is favourite for this tournament which makes it so interesting.
“Having India – one of the world’s biggest cricket nations – on board is a big boost for the tournament, and we haven’t seen Afghanistan play in four years – so it will be an interesting few days.
“Some non-mainstream parts of English sport are riding the crest of a wave at the minute, particularly off the back of the success of the England women’s football team, so I’d urge people to check the tournament out if they can.
“Some of the skill on show is unbelievable. To give you an idea, we have witnessed players with one arm make diving one-arm catches that are up there with Andrew Strauss’ superman catch in the 2005 Ashes.”
Iain’s England side begin their tournament at Kidderminster Cricket Club on August 5 at 1.30pm against Pakistan.
For more information about the tournament and the schedule visit www.ecb.co.uk/england/disability/fixtures
To find out more about Baldwins, visit www.baldwinsgroup.com