Norfolk's Olly Stone prepares for England Test debut
PUBLISHED: 17:27 23 July 2019 | UPDATED: 17:27 23 July 2019
Norfolk's Olly Stone is on the verge of his Test debut - and a possible place in the Ashes series - after being called into the England squad for Wednesday's game against Ireland at Lord's.
The 25-year-old Warwickshire seamer, raised in Brundall, made his England ODI debut last winter in Sri Lanka, but after being selected for the Test squad there and in the West Indies had to withdraw because of a stress fracture in his lower back.
The former Thorpe St Andrew School pupil has recovered from that - and previous knee problems - to feature in England's red ball plans.
Stone suffered a serious knee injury three years ago and left Northamptonshire for Warwickshire in 2016, when still early in recovery from that injury.
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Since arriving at Edgbaston, Stone's career has developed, he admits, like a dream come true.
"I always dreamed about playing cricket for England and I knew if I didn't do the work to get fit again that wouldn't happen," said Stone, whose Warwickshire career began with the best part of a year in rehab from knee surgery.
"I remember the day I had my operation - June 12, 2016, though it seems like yesterday - and I was snapping at mum and dad," he told Warwickshire's official web site. "But I always dreamed about playing cricket for England and I knew if I didn't do the work to get fit again that wouldn't happen.
"So that was a big incentive and the support I had from Warwickshire was amazing and one of the reasons I got through it all. I was very lucky that the club took me on and backed me even though the first year of my contract was going to be pretty much non-existent. To have that sort of backing was brilliant. I can't thank them enough and am so thankful for the time they have put into me and the expertise of Gerhard Mostert, Chris Armstrong and Jack Murfin and also the rehab facilities which we are lucky enough to tap into at Aston Villa.
"Then it went really well for me in 2018. The consistency side of it was very pleasing because I had worked very hard on that. I was just glad to be back out on the field. It was very disappointing to then get injured again right at the start of the West Indies tour but I am fit again now, it was great to get back on the field with the Bears in the last few weeks and I am really looking forward to the rest of the season."