CRICKETER Paul Allen has been called up for the summer Ashes series.

The 23-year-old Winsford based player has been selected for the England Deaf XI to play their Australian counterparts – and he’s raring to go

Allen, who is also a utility player with Barnton FC, has been a regular member of the ECAD squad for several years, has toured Australia with them and played in the Deaf World Cup in India, where they were runners-up to the host nation.

But he is desperate to face the Aussies again.

Partially deaf Allen said: “I can’t wait. They singled me out in Australia, and I got under their skin. In the World Cup they cited me for being over aggressive, just like the senior team they don't like it back.

“They battered us in Australia in the ‘tests’ but we got the better of them in the world cup semi.

“Thanks to the ECB getting more involved deaf cricket has taken big strides. I believe we have overtaken the Aussies in preparation and organisation. We now have to prove we have overtaken them in ability.”

Allen emerged from the Winsford Cricket Club ranks, switched to Winnington Park where he played as a junior and senior from the age of 14.

He moved to Christleton after a spell with Oxton last season as an opening bowler and became an all-rounder. He has taken on the captaincy at the County League club.

The internationals are taken as intensely as the tests and one day clashes at the top level. ECAD indoor preparation for the ‘ashes tour’ has been going on at weekend camps all winter.

Allen enjoyed some of his best cricket last year, being voted Christleton’s player of the season and taking 6-42 off 23 overs against Widnes as well scoring 54 in 34 balls against champions Oulton Park.

For England he has taken 4-24 off eight overs against Australia in the 2005 World Cup semi-final and scored 54 while taking part in a ECAD record partnership of 188 against the same country while on tour there the previous year.

The England team will play at Christleton on July 6 ready for Australia’s visit the same month.

Northwich CC’s registration evening is on Friday (6.30-9.30pm) at their Moss Farm pavilion.

All current players are asked to sign on for the forthcoming season and newcomers are invited to attend.

“You never know, the next Kevin Peterson is out there somewhere,” said organiser Simon James.

Representatives from RAM will attend, offering discounted equipment.

Further information is available on www.northwich