Olly Stone says he wasn’t expecting to receive a call-up for England’s ODI and Test squads to tour Sri Lanka but is determined to seize his chance with both hands.
The 24-year-old fast bowler, who has made a compelling case for selection with 37 first-class wickets at an average of 12.37 this season, has endured a torrid time with injuries in his relatively brief career and insists that international cricket wasn’t in his thoughts at the start of the campaign.
“It’s something I didn’t expect,” Stone told BBC WM. “At the start of this season, it was just good to be back playing for Warwickshire.
“If someone had said to me two years ago, when I hurt my knee, that I’d be selected by England, I’d have snapped their hands off.
“To come back and play some consistent cricket was a big thing for me, to show to myself and to others that I can be out there for a long period of time.
“It was a great call to get on Thursday. They said earlier in the week that they’d be in contact over the next few days with regard to the rest of my winter but I didn’t realise that was on my radar.
“Everybody’s saying Sri Lanka is not the greatest place to go and make your debut, if selected. But I’m looking forward to the challenge. And, even if it doesn’t go well, hopefully I can land some skills that I can bring back to county cricket.”
Stone capped a memorable week by helping Warwickshire secure promotion to Division One of the County Championship – a draw at Sussex confirming their return to the top tier at the first time of asking. If they defeat Kent at Edgbaston in their final match, or at least get one more point than their opponents, they will take the Division Two title.
“What a crazy week,” added Stone. “Two England calls and to get the boys back where they deserved is great too.
“At the start of the year, promotion was key,” said Stone. “We’ve achieved it a week early, which now takes us into a shootout and we’re really excited.”
England’s five-match ODI series against Sri Lanka begins on October 10 and is followed by a single T20I and three Tests.