Welcome return for Carberry
Lions opener pleased to be back
Michael Carberry will return to the England Lions side on Thursday 18 months after he was close to being forced into premature retirement.
The Hampshire opener was unable to undertake an England Performance Programme tour to Australia in 2010 after being diagnosed with a blood clot on his lung.
In the months which followed, Carberry admits there were times when he had to consider the possibility of not being able to resume his career.
But the 31-year-old Carberry is back to his best and now set to face the new ball against the West Indies at Northampton.
To date the left-hander has one Test cap against Bangladesh in Chittagong in early 2010. Whether he adds to that or not, he is thankful to be on the field again rather than having to contemplate alternative employment.
"As years tick over it's something I had in mind anyway, then with the illness it was something I had to look into," he said. "It's been a long road and I'm pleased to be back."
Asked if he ever truly felt that his cricketing days might be gone, Carberry added: "I guess so. But where there's a will there's a way. It's about a state of mind."
Carberry also believes that he is an improved batsman, adding: "I'd like to think I'm better than I was when I played Test cricket. I'm two years older and two years wiser.
"My club [Hampshire] have been fantastic and my family, not to mention England as well. I've had a lot of support."
Carberry is the most obvious like-for-like replacement if either of England's openers become unavailable, but he also believes he is adaptable.
"I'd like to think I can bat anywhere and have stressed that to the selectors," he said.
"During my career I've batted in various different positions because I've played in some strong teams and you've had to slot in where you can.
"I've batted in the middle order for the Lions and got a hundred and I feel I can bat anywhere."
Most of all, of course, he would love to do that in Test cricket again.
"I thoroughly enjoyed it," he said of his one Test appearance. "I didn't feel out of my depth at any stage. I played pretty well.
"I think everyone is allowed to be a little nervous. It was something I'd worked 13 years towards.
"I think I gave a reasonable account of myself without setting the world alight. I'd like another taste of it."
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