As he turned 34, Ian Cockbain’s dreams of playing in overseas T20 leagues were slipping away.
He has an extensive domestic career in England and has also played for Welsh Fire in The Hundred, but he was yet to play for any other leagues around the world.
But just two weeks later, everything changed for him when he got a call from a friend from Gloucestershire, Daniel Worrall, the South Australian seamer.
When all eight teams of the BBL were affected badly by COVID-19, he was roped in to play for the Adelaide Strikers in BBL|11.
And he took up the opportunity like any experienced campaigner, hitting scores of 17, 35 not out and 71 not out that helped the Strikers to qualify for the BBL finals.
He had been on holiday with his wife who is an Australian and his little child when he received the surprising call-up.
On the same day, he was snapped up by Karachi Kings to play in the Pakistan Super League which was a doubly happy day for him.
He said in an interview,
I’ve been trying to get my foot in the door in an overseas league for years now.
I’ve never played for England, I’ve never been on a Lions tour, so my profile as a player doesn’t really appeal to teams overseas.
Cockbain also played cricket in Australia for 10 summers.
That’s when he had met his wife eight years ago when he was representing for Premier cricket club East Torrens in Adelaide.
He now spends six months in England and six months in Australia with his wife and his 18-month-old kid.
When asked why he wanted to play in Australia he said,
It was initially getting away from the winter back home and not getting pounded in pre-season by the S&C (strength and conditioning) coaches.
Adding further he said,
Now that my wife’s Australian it’s a double whammy. It’s a no brainer to come over here now for the (English) wintersm it gives her a chance to catch up with her family and spend a bit of time with them.
Cockbain will now have to wait to check whether he will retain his place in the playing XI for the Strikers after the return of Travis Head and Alex Carey.
That’s obviously up to the coaches to decide what they think is best. I’d love it if I could keep my spot and play alongside those guys.
They’re two class players and I’ll be looking to learn off of those guys.
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