WIRRAL cricketer Chris Edwards has led England's Learning Disability side to victory in their opening two Ashes games in Australia. 

Edwards, who is from New Brighton and plays for Caldy, travelled to Australia on Sunday morning to play the hosts in the International Sports Federation for Persons with Intellectual Disability series.

England are the title-holders, having won the tournament the last time it was contested in 2011.

Edwards' charges won back-to-back encounters in Brisbane by impressive margins of 27 runs and seven wickets.

England LD’s 116-6 first up in the opening match was significantly boosted by some lusty blows in Tayler Young’s 14-ball 29, which included 18 off the final over. Miserly opening bowling from Kieron McKinney (1-4) and Alex Jervis set the tone as the hosts found the going tough.

Aussie opener Joel Corbett – dismissed for 43 in both games – was the key wicket, and once he fell to Young at 66-5, Australia subsided to 89 all out. Four runouts were indicative of England’s squeeze with the ball. With the confidence of victory first up, Perry and company eased to a second win at the beginning of the 18th over, having restricting Australia to 121-7 (Martin Henderson impressing with 3-18).

Edwards said: "Every time I pull on that England shirt, it feels special.

"You know you’re not just representing people with learning difficulties; you’re representing your country. And, given the toll the pandemic took on us all, it’s just fantastic to be playing international cricket again.

"Having only lost one game since 2011 – and with a clean sweep in Australia last time we were here - we’re confident.

"Obviously, there’s always going to be pressure, and every run comes to an end at some point. We just have to make sure we perform to the best of our ability to try and make sure it doesn’t happen.

"I think this is the first time we have been unchanged as a squad. Australia are a much-changed side – they may have as many as seven new players since we were here in 2019, so it’s going into the unknown to a great extent.

"Another clean sweep is the ultimate dream, but the main thing is working hard enough to give ourselves that chance. Keep grounded, keep focused and do the basics right and, hopefully, we will earn it."

Edwards' side are next in action on Friday, June 10 when they take on Australia in two more T20 games in Brisbane.