sport

Wright reveals flying fear

Luke Wright will keep his lucrative lifestyle as an international Twenty20 specialist airborne - despite his fear of flying.

England's lynchpin batting all-rounder in the shortest format has honed his trade in all the high-profile Twenty20 leagues the world has to offer - from India, to Australia and New Zealand.

Wright is due to return to the Indian Premier League with Pune this spring, with the approval of his county Sussex and his country, and has been a big name at the Big Bash down under for the past two winters too.

It is in those competitions, up against many of the world's most explosive 20-over cricketers, that the 27-year-old has improved so markedly that he is no longer a fringe England player but a key one.

He proved on Saturday with runs and wickets in their record-breaking victory over New Zealand in Auckland, and England will hope he can play another pivotal role in the two remaining matches.

Wright still harbours ambitions in the longer formats, but knows where his main earning potential lies - even though flying around the world, as he therefore must, unnerves him so much.

"I hate flying - I'm scared of it," he said.

"I had 38 flights last winter. As a nervous flier, it's not great.

"I'm not scared enough for it to make me stop flying - I just can't sleep or relax on flights as I get anxious."

To keep calm, Wright takes his mind off the real world with in-flight entertainment - and admits he does not mind the odd action replay to keep himself calm.

"I just watch the same movies over and over again," he added.

"From that side of it, my Twenty20 adventures are not ideal - but I haven't been tempted to get the boat yet."

There are other sacrifices too for family man Wright, who met his New Zealand-born wife Rebecca on England's last tour to this country five years ago.

"One downside is all the travelling, so you don't spend that much time with the family," he said.

"In terms of lifestyle, it's something I love doing - meeting all the people you do around the world.

"I enjoy doing it, and financially it's a great thing to have for my family.

"To nip over to Bangladesh for a few weeks not only keeps me ticking over, it helps pay a few bills."