Plunkett opens up about emotional journey back to Test team

"I never thought about walking away from it, not for one minute"

“I never thought about walking away from it, not for one minute”

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Prior to the first Test against Sri Lanka at Lord’s, England pace bowler Liam Plunkett had not played Test cricket in seven years.

Grateful to be given another opportunity, Plunkett opened up about the emotional journey he went through to get back into the Test side.

In 2007, Plunkett went through one of the toughest periods of his life as he offered to donate a kidney to his father, Alan, who was spending 20 hours a week on a dialysis machine.

Plunkett also admitted that he had no one else to blame but himself after he lost his place in the national team following his conviction for drinking and driving.

“I offered him my kidney a while back, and he’s had a transplant now so he’s healthy,” Plunkett said. “But you’d do that at the drop of a hat for your old man, wouldn’t you?

“He didn’t take one because I was young and he wanted me to play cricket for as long as I could. He wanted me to play for England.

“He was on dialysis for quite a few years. It’s just tedious and ties up your life – you can’t really go away with your family. It’s Monday, Wednesday, Friday from 7am till one o’clock. But [the donor kidney] came around and it’s been massive.

“He said to me on the phone the other day ‘I honestly thought you probably wouldn’t play for England again’. ‘You’ve proved me wrong, and I’m over the moon for you’. I’m upset that he didn’t back me, but…Yes, I did have doubts. I was in Durham seconds…I used to go back to the hotel and think ‘where am I going with this? Why am I not bowling to my full potential? Why am I not getting wickets?”

“I just still felt I had a lot more to give. I love playing cricket and I didn’t want to do anything else.

“I’ve seen so many people who’ve played for England and then two years later they’re not even in the game. I didn’t want that to happen to me. I never thought about walking away from it, not for one minute.”

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