POULTON cricket coach Bobby Denning is back home after a successful Ashes tour down under ... even if the ultimate prize just eluded him.
Denning is head coach of the England Deaf team who took on their Australian counterparts in a one-off Test in Geelong, south of Melbourne.
And although Denning’s side emerged with a creditable draw, the Aussies retained the Ashes as holders.
But former Fleetwood and St Annes CC player Denning led his side to glory in shorter versions of the game, winning a triangular Twenty20 tournament against the host nation and South Africa.
The three countries also contested a one-day competition in which England beat both opponents again only to lose the final to Australia.
After the busy three-week tour, Denning said: “Overall we were very happy to come away from Australia having won three out of three T20s and two out of three one-day internationals.
“We felt we had most of the Test match after bowling Australia out for 158 and taking a first-innings lead of 30. We then had them 70-5 going into the final day only for a 150 partnership to leave us needing 216 in 36 overs.
“We finished seven down and disappointed not to have picked up wickets earlier in the day, which would have seen us batting to win.
“Most of the squad of 15 put in significant performances and we are now planning our summer schedule, which will include games against the MCC, Northants Cricket Board and Devon Cricket Board”.
But Bobby, a cricket development manager for the Lancashire Cricket Board, hasn’t finished his jetsetting for this year.
As head coach of the Spain national squad, he will take them into the Europe Twenty20 tournement in Belgium in June in a bid to win promotion and become associate members of the ICC.