Luke looks to Wright the wrongs

PA Sport
Luke Wright is delighted to be back in the England team following a knee injury

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Luke Wright is delighted to be back in the England team following a knee injury

Luke Wright is determined to prove to the world he is a much-improved player as he seeks to help England defend their Twenty20 title.

The batting all-rounder last week won his first international caps in more than a year, after England decided the out-of-sorts Ravi Bopara needed a rest from the front line.

Wright retained his place in the first ICC World Twenty20 warm-up match against Australia and got the chance to push his case for the tournament proper, which England begin against Afghanistan on Friday. He said: "I was a bit worried about whether I'd be able to play cricket again at one point."

The 27-year-old could scarcely have hoped for so much at the start of this year, when he was battling back from a knee operation which made him wonder whether his best cricket might already be behind him. That has proved far from the case, first with the Melbourne Stars in the Big Bash and more recently for Sussex.

Wright, who lit up Australia's domestic Twenty20 competition with a record 44-ball hundred, added: "After getting injured, I was out for quite a long time and had to have surgery. First, it was (just) trying to get back.

"Then it was to go to Australia after the surgery and see how it went. After that went well, and my knee felt good, then I started to focus on hoping to try and get back for this 'World Cup' - and luckily, that happened."

Wright's form and confidence are now better than ever, saying: "It's different to the last time I was involved, maybe a better feeling for me to be here this time after the injury I went through.

"There are other guys around the counties I know have been struggling heavily with that sort of injury [knee tendon trouble], threatening quite badly and who've had similar treatment to me - and it's just not worked.

"My game is normally based on energy, running around, buzzing around. Suddenly for the first time, I couldn't really do that and I felt like an old man - it probably threatened everything I play for. It was a bit worrying at one point. But I went off to Sweden for an operation, and luckily it's been fine since then.

"I'd gone away when I was injured and looked at my game and realised there were a lot of places I needed to improve. I feel a better player now; it's just proving I am on this stage, really."

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