England opener Phil Salt keen to get hands on T20 World Cup once more

England opener Phil Salt is looking to bring his story full circle by getting his hands on the T20 World Cup in Barbados – just as he did as a youngster growing up on the island.

Salt’s family lived in the Caribbean hotspot during six of his formative cricketing years and he was in the crowd as a fan, aged around 12, when England won the tournament at the Kensington Oval in 2010.

He still remembers being offered a chance to get up close and personal with the silverware courtesy of then captain Paul Collingwood, a moment that sparked his burgeoning ambitions even further.

Phil Salt was in the stands when England won the 2010 tournament.
Phil Salt was in the stands when England won the 2010 tournament (Rebecca Naden/PA)

“There’s a bit of a way to go, but that’s absolutely the goal. We’re here to win,” he said.

“This is somewhere I love playing cricket and I love being here. I watched the final here in 2010 and it was pretty special. I think every kid in that crowd would have gone, ‘that’s going to be me one day’, but you never believe it. So now to be here in an England shirt, with the opportunity to do something special in the next month is incredible really.”

Recalling his brief encounter with Collingwood, now an assistant coach with the England Test side, Salt added: “Collie came past up this stand, the Hall and Griffith, where I was sat upstairs watching the final, and he came past with the trophy and said, ‘here – touch it while you can’. So, I got a touch of the trophy that day and that’s the thing that always sticks with me when I think about that day.”

Salt was reunited with the trophy again in Melbourne in 2022, drafted in for the last two games after an injury to Dawid Malan. He did not bat in the semi-final and managed just 10 in the final against Pakistan, but has since progressed from late stand-in to key man.

He hit back-to-back hundreds on England’s previous white-ball trip to the West Indies in December and played a starring role for eventual winners Kolkata Knight Riders in this year’s Indian Premier League.

  • 23 caps
  • 697 runs
  • 166.74 strike-rate
  • 2 centuries
  • 35 sixes

“You like to think that way as an opening batter but the moment you recognise that and start thinking of yourself as the big ‘I am’, I feel like the game’s always going to bite you,” he said.

“I try not to think about anything like that and keep it one ball at a time. I’ve also had a look at where I’m strong, where I’m not, used the analysis, learnt from the coaches and made those movements in my game.

“I can’t put my finger on any one thing, but I feel like there’s maybe a mindset shift and that I want to be the person winning more games for England.”

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