European Social Fund

Preston College ESOL Learner Becomes Unexpected Star of ‘Freddie Flintoff’s Field of Dreams’

16 year old Adnan and star of BBC One’s ‘Freddie Flintoff’s Field of Dreams’, arrived in the UK in March 2021 from his home country of Afghanistan.

Unable to speak any English, Adnan joined Preston College to improve his spoken and written English, successfully completing First Steps and Entry Level English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) programmes.

With an interest in cricket, Adnan began bowling golf balls into his foster father’s golf net at home, with foster mum, Elaine acknowledging, despite knowing little about cricket, once she witnessed Adnan play, she ‘knew he had a talent!’

Keen to support his passion for cricket, foster dad, Barry, took Adnan to White Coppice Cricket Club. He played against Euxton Cricket Club and scored a six off his first ball. He subsequently moved to Euxton Cricket Club and quickly progressed to play for the 1st X1 and the under 17’s team, before being nominated as the U17s Player’s Player of the Year.

Going on to score 62 runs off 22 balls at the T20 Championship, which his team subsequently won, Adnan was approached by a range of teams keen to utilise his evident skills and he now plays for  Wigan Cricket Club 1st 1X.

Recording his fastest bowl at 85mph, whilst at College, Adnan worked with the College’s Cross College Enrichment Officer, Zoe and joined the Preston College cricket team, alongside learners from a host of other courses.

It was during this time that Preston-born cricketer Andrew ‘Freddie’ Flintoff, began filming for his BBC One documentary ‘Freddie’s Field of Dreams’, with indoor training taking place in the Sports Hall at Preston College. Keen to learn more, Adnan, with the help of Zoe, attended the first training session and instantly impressed one of cricket’s leading all-rounders.

Joining Freddie’s team, Adnan’s natural talent and passion for the game quickly became evident, as he worked with his team mates to secure impressive wins against much more experienced teams. As seen in the recent documentary, a trip to Emirates Old Trafford Cricket Ground, home of Lancashire cricket, confirmed to Adnan that professional cricket is his ultimate career ambition, with dreams of one day following in Freddie’s footsteps and playing for England.

Since starring on the BBC One programme, Adnan has gone on to feature on BBC Radio and BBC Breakfast. For now, Adnan will return to College in September to continue his English studies, alongside his cricket practice, as he embraces the educational opportunities that have been presented to him in Preston.

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