Liam Dawson content with England role despite limited playing time

Liam Dawson is content with his lot despite being on the periphery with England as he insisted the days of worrying about his role or place in the squad are in the rear view mirror.

The spin bowling all-rounder was an unused squad member in England’s historic 50-over World Cup triumph in 2019 and has in recent weeks been a travelling reserve as they won the T20 equivalent tournament.

Behind Adil Rashid, Moeen Ali and Liam Livingstone in the pecking order, Dawson has made just 11 T20 and five ODI appearances for England spread across six years.

Moeen Ali, left, and Adil Rashid, right, are ahead of Liam Dawson in England's white-ball pecking order (Kieran Cleeves/PA)
Moeen Ali, left, and Adil Rashid, right, are ahead of Liam Dawson in England’s white-ball pecking order (Kieran Cleeves/PA)

He was namechecked by head coach Matthew Mott as somebody who could come into consideration in India in England’s 50-over World Cup title defence in 2023 but Dawson claimed his only goal is to enjoy himself.

He said: “I’m very realistic, I always have been realistic about where I stand in the pecking order with Mo and Rash and now Livi as well.

“I’m 32 now. I’ve played a hell of a lot of cricket in my career and I’m at a stage now where I just want to enjoy it. I’m past the days of worrying about being selected in squads or anything like that.

“I like to think when I play I don’t let anybody down, I hold my own and do a good job. That’s all I can keep doing, there’s no point worrying about if you’re selected or if you go on another tour.

“If I get selected in squads or play for England, I’ll give it my all like I always do in every game and I’ll put the best performance I can in for the team.”

Dawson feels privileged to have witnessed two of England’s greatest limited-overs successes at close quarters, with the Hampshire slow left-armer pointing out many would relish being in his shoes.

“It’s brilliant to be involved in and around these tournaments,” he said. “You’d love to play but to be involved is still special.

“A lot of people would love to be in the same position as what I’ve been in so you can’t take it for granted, ever. I’m very lucky to be part of such an exciting time in white-ball cricket for England.

“It’s true you are only ever an injury away (from playing). Every time I’m practising I’m potentially preparing to play because you never know and injuries do happen in sport.

“But you would never wish an injury upon anyone. If that was to happen, you’ve got to be ready to go and make sure you’re prepared. That’s something over my career I’ve always done very well, I’ve always prepared very well.”

Dawson had gone four years without an ODI appearance until this month but he has been a beneficiary of England giving opportunities to those on the fringes for their three-match series against Australia.

Dawson has performed solidly in the first two meetings, with Australia winning both to move into an unassailable lead ahead of England’s final match of a successful tour at the MCG on Tuesday.

While they have been on the road since mid-September and the timing and relevance of this series has been questioned, Dawson hopes England can end the trip with a bang.

“Whoever plays on Tuesday, everyone will want to do well and put in a good performance and get a win,” Dawson added. “There’s plenty to play for, you’ve got personal pride to think about as well.”