Brodie Glendinning has shone a fascinating light on life inside a bio secure England cricket bubble having spent a weekend at a Young Lions squad get-together.
Pace bowler Brodie, from Penrith, was one of around two dozen players picked to take part in a red ball match which pitted the North against the South at Loughborough’s National Cricket Performance Centre. This was held as preparations begin for England under-19 squad selection.
Brodie claimed one for 32 from seven overs, and competed alongside Durham Academy club-mates Jonathan Bushnell and Luke Doneathy, the latter scoring a century in a match which the South won by three wickets.
“I felt a bit strange initially about being selected for the Young Lions squad,” Brodie, aged 18, told the Herald, “mainly because it’s been such a strange year I didn’t think I would get a chance for any England under-19s trials or games.
“But when I got my head around it I was very happy that I am putting myself on the radar for selection and performing well.”
Brodie learned of his call-up during a phone with Durham academy director John Windows — one of the coaches involved in the North squad — and faced strict COVID restrictions on entering the camp.
“It was a new experience to say the least being in a bio secure bubble that’s for sure,” he recalled. “On the first evening I found it a bit uncomfortable just sitting in my room on my own and ordering room service for dinner, not seeing another person.
“However, after the first night we were able to eat in a dining room around tables, being socially distant, of course. So there was at least some kind of socialising around dinner time, but after that I was just sat in my room, with a cup of tea reading my book — not too bad in my eyes!
“I think the most challenging aspect was probably getting myself mentally prepared for the next day’s play. Although I had plenty of time to get myself physically ready (stretching and mobility) I usually gain a lot of my energy from a group environment and I find it tough being on my own with my own thoughts running wild.”
Surprisingly, he said, the easiest aspect was the introduction into the team environment. “I thought it would be quite tough meeting a few new faces all in competition for a place,” he stated. “But all of the lads were so welcoming to each other and I think we built a real team bond in the short time we were there.
“I honestly can’t speak for how the other lads thought they played but obviously Luke batted brilliantly in the second innings to give us a good chance of winning the game.
“I felt I played fairly well. I think I have played better but I have definitely played worse. But in the same breath I honestly can’t ever think of a game where I couldn’t have done any better — it just doesn’t happen for me. I think I can always be better.”
Brodie added: “Aside from the complete and utter low point of running out of Yorkshire Tea bags in my hotel room there weren’t many major lows.
“Obviously I would have loved to win the game but the South played well and when it came down to the basics, they did them better than us, for longer than us.
“The main highlight for me was simply the experience. It’s not something that comes around often and I was extremely fortunate to be a part of it.
“Over the coming weeks my main aim is to try and let my body recover a little. It was a fairly rushed but intense season for me and my body was certainly feeling it towards the end.
“Over the winter I did have plans to go to Australia to play some cricket there. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic I don’t believe this will be possible, so it’s a good chance for me to work on my fitness and the off-field side of cricket that will be pivotal for the coming season.
“For next season I hope I can really begin to push into the first team and hopefully gain a call-up for the Durham first XI, but with the current situation of the pandemic I will aim to keep fit and try and seize any opportunity I can get.”
Brodie is the son of Mary and Mark, and has a brother, Bruce, and sister, Bonnie.