CRICKET: Pears pace ace Tongue earns England call up for Ireland test match - The Worcester Observer

CRICKET: Pears pace ace Tongue earns England call up for Ireland test match

Worcester Editorial 24th May, 2023 Updated: 24th May, 2023   0

WORCESTERSHIRE pace bowler Josh Tongue is celebrating his first full England call-up after being called into the squad for the one-off Test against Ireland at Lord’s.

The 25-year-old impressed when playing for England Lions this winter and picked up eight wickets in the Second Test against Sri Lanka A in Galle.

Now Tongue has been called into the full set-up for the test on June 1 in the latest step forward in his career which he feared could be over after 14 months out of action with a shoulder problem.

The Academy product, who first played for Worcestershire at the age of six in the Under-10s group, has played four LV=Insurance County Championship matches this summer, picking up 11 wickets, as he has gradually eased his way back towards full fitness.

Tongue quickly caught the eye of the national selectors after an impressive debut season for Worcestershire in 2017 when his 47 wickets helped seal promotion to Division One.

He made his England Under-19 Test debut against India that summer and was selected for the Lions tour of Australia during that winter. He then made a big impression taking 5-76 and 3-77 against Sri Lanka A this winter.

To date Tongue has taken 162 first class wickets in 47 matches and his pace and bounce have been a major threat to opposing batters.

“The invaluable experience I gained during the winter as part of the Lions team has given me the hunger to represent my country in more international cricket matches and obviously the next step is Test cricket,” Tongue said.

“While my focus has primarily been on playing for Worcestershire, who I love playing for, the news of my selection for the Test squad is fantastic news.”

Elated head coach Alan Richardson, said: “It fills us with great delight to witness Josh’s moment, which is truly well-deserved after the tremendous amount of effort he has invested in his recovery.”

“For all of us at Worcestershire, it is an incredibly proud moment to witness the growth of a player who has been part of our talent pathway since the tender age of six, now graduate through to the highest level of the sport.”

Luke Wright, England Men’s National Selector, said: “We have been monitoring Josh for quite some time and he deserves this call-up to the Test squad. It will be a great experience for him to understand and get used to the environment under Ben (Stokes) and Brendon (McCullum).

“It is important to have players ready to respond and with a big summer of Test cricket coming up, we will need that depth to our squad.

“We wish Josh and the rest of the squad well for the first international of the campaign.”

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