James Pattinson: England wanted me

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Football News

James Pattinson has revealed he was offered the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of his brother Darren and opt to play international cricket for England, rather than his native Australia.

The Pattinson brothers were born to English parents but grew up in Australia and, while both retain dual-passports which make the eligible to play for either country, they have taken different routes at international level.

Darren Pattinson played only one Test for England having been called up to face South Africa in farcical circumstances five years ago, with the selection branded as 'illogical, pathetic and diabolical' by Sir Ian Botham.

The younger of the brothers, however, has harboured no desire to represent England, but has always maintained a desire to play for the country of his birth - despite the hopes of his father.

James' commitment to Australia also failed to deter England attempting to encourage him to defect to the northern hemisphere, with bowling coach David Saker having spoken to the 23-year-old about potentially switching allegiances.

"I came over here a lot as a young kid. The first time was when I was six and I've been over every couple of years up until now," he told reporters.

"My dad [John] is from Grimsby and my mum [Sue] from a little town called Wombwell, I think it's in Yorkshire. She always talks about Dickie Bird. I think it's the only umpire she knows.

"My dad still supported England when I was a young fella; it was like: 'You should go and play over there' and I was like: 'No, no, no'. When I was six or seven we moved back over here to live. But we only lasted six months. Mum didn't like the weather so we went back. If she had, it might have been a different story.

"I have got a dual passport. When David Saker moved to be the coach over here, I hadn't played for Australia. I was picked for two Twenty20s just after the Ashes, but I was 12th man in both of them and Sakes got Andy Flower to come and see me.

"I was in the dressing room at the MCG. I don't know if Sakes was being serious. It was 'come over and play, Darren's playing over here'. I just thought he was mucking around so I laughed it off. It was quite funny.

"I have a good relationship with Sakes. He was my first bowling coach when he was at Victoria. He has the same sort of mentality that Darren [Lehmann] brings to us. He is a great man with great knowledge."

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Australia cricket
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