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My 100th Test cap is for my mother: Jonny Bairstow

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Set to achieve a major milestone by playing his 100th Test this week, England wicketkeeper-batsman Jonny Bairstow dedicated the feat to his cancer survivor mother who was his driving force and kept the family together during difficult times. The 34-year-old will become the 17th Englishman to win the 100th Test cap when he turns up for the fifth and final Test against India starting here on Thursday and it will be an emotional week for Bairstow, who has endured a difficult childhood and a long career-threatening injury.

“When I play, there are times when I think about Dad. But I think more about how Mom worked hard to make sure we were okay after everything that happened. So that we could stay together as a family. That has been my driving force,” he said. told ‘Telegraph Sport’.

Bairstow was just 8 years old when his father David, a former England wicketkeeper, committed suicide. Her mother, Janet, kept the family together even though she battled and beat breast cancer twice.

“My mother is the epitome of strength. There was a determination there. She worked three jobs and had two children under 10 at a difficult time. She would take me to Leeds United (where he played in youth football), at Headingley, all sorts of other places.

“It’s paying it all back, making sure they’re OK, creating a life for my own family as well.

“She’s had cancer twice. She’s a damn strong woman, to go through that twice, before you even consider anything else she’s been through, and it shows the strength and determination of this woman .” Bairstow has often been compared to his father and the 34-year-old hopes he “sits up there, has a beer, looks down proudly and enjoys the week”.

“I’ll look to put on a show.”

Bairstow said he was desperate to become a Test cricketer while growing up watching his heroes and would be looking to put on a show in the fifth Test.

“I didn’t grow up watching one-day cricket, I grew up watching Test cricket. That was it for me. I loved (Michael) Vaughan, (Marcus) Trescothick, KP ( Kevin Pietersen),” he said.

“I remember going to Headingley, watching England do an indoor net session. They were wearing Vodafone blue tracksuits and I was in awe. It inspired me and I was desperate to ‘be part of it.’ “It’s going to be an emotional week. I want to take advantage of the opportunity and try to put on a show with the guys for the incredible fans that follow us around the world.”

Recovering from career-threatening injury was ‘biggest challenge’

Bairstow had a freak accident on the golf course in 2022, leaving him with a broken leg, dislocated ankle and associated ligament damage and recovering from that injury was his “biggest challenge”.

“I think getting over (this injury) is number one. Having the surgeon say how bad it was after I came back, it hit me a lot harder than I expected. “They told me at the time it was bad, but they didn’t tell me they knew it should have ended my career.

“To come back from that, going through six Test matches keeping wicket and batting like I did (last summer), just a few months after that injury. I know people will talk about my performance, they can do. But I “I was so proud to do that. I didn’t know if I was going to come back,” he said.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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