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Games call for King

PUBLISHED: 11:34 13 August 2009 | UPDATED: 10:55 07 July 2010

Mervyn King, selected for England's Commonwealth Games team in New Delhi next year.

Mervyn King, selected for England's Commonwealth Games team in New Delhi next year.

Fakenham's Mervyn King was celebrating last night after receiving an email from England's Commonwealth Games performance director John Bell, confirming that the Hunstanton and Gallow IBC ace will be part of the six-man England team in the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi next year.

Fakenham's Mervyn King was celebrating last night after receiving an email from England's Commonwealth Games performance director John Bell, confirming that the Hunstanton and Gallow IBC ace will be part of the six-man England team in the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi next year.

“I was laying some pheasant pens when the news came through, so I haven't had much time to consider my reaction, but I'm obviously delighted,” said King, who doubles as a pest controller and estate manager. “I knew I was in with a chance, because I've been doing reasonably well in the training sessions, but, then, so has everyone else. You can't take anything for granted, so I suppose you could say I'm relieved that I got the nod.”

In the light of the England badminton team's recent return from India after an alleged terrorist threat, what does King think of travelling to New Delhi for a game of bowls?

“I don't know what's been going on in the background, but I think they over-reacted,” he said. “I've got no fears on that score - but I am a little concerned that the greens will be ready on time.”

Confirming that work on the bowls arena has not yet started in New Delhi, Bell said: “I've been told that the contract for laying the greens is still out to tender - so we are a bit worried.”

The positions that the six players will occupy have not yet been decided, but King could have an outside chance of getting the coveted singles berth - though he is more likely to slot in at lead or second in the England triple.

The other five players in the team are teenage sensation Sam Tolchard, from Devon, Mark Bantock and Rob Newman, from Berkshire, Wiltshire's Graham Shadwell and Cumbria's Stuart Airey.

Several young players have been given their chance in the women's team, with Jamie Lea Winch (18), Natalie Melmore (20) and Sian Gordon (21) to the fore, backed up by 30-year-olds, Amy Monkhouse and Ellen Falkner. Completing the team, Sandy Hazell, a 43-year-old from Kent, is the senior member - and must feel like a grandmother in comparison with her team-mates.

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