A strange injury and bowling at 92mph: who is Olly Stone?

England


England have named one uncapped player in their one-day squad for the tour of Sri Lanka – Warwickshire fast bowler Olly Stone. Here’s a bit more on the paceman turning heads

What’s his background?

Stone started his career with Northamptonshire and featured for England Under-19s in 2013, claiming match figures of 11 for 79 against South Africa in Paarl, which remain the best U-19 Test figures for England. In 2015 he was selected for the England Pace Performance programme which was based in South Africa, but suffered a recurrence of back problems from earlier in his career. However, his major injury setback was still to come when he suffered a bad knee injury while celebrating a wicket in the 2016 T20 Blast, which ruled him out for a year.

Injured himself how?!

Yes, it certainly went into the unusual injuries category. It happened while playing for Northants against Worcestershire at Wantage Road in June 2016, when he leapt in celebration after dismissing Moeen Ali and landed awkwardly. He tried to complete the over but collapsed in his delivery stride and had to be helped off the field. Despite the injury there was plenty of interest in signing him from other counties – as many as nine, in fact – before he moved to Warwickshire, for whom he was finally able to make his debut midway through the 2017 season.

Is he quick?

On his day, he’s among the quickest in the domestic game. He has been clocked at 92mph in televised white-ball matches, but his best record comes in first-class cricket. In List A cricket he has taken 23 wickets in 25 matches at an average of 38.86, although 12 of those came this season. He is quite a skiddy fast bowler which could come in useful on the slower, lower pitches England are likely to encounter on their overseas tours this winter.

Hadn’t he been talked about for a potential call-up?

He was flagged as a likely name to be called up a week or so ago, although that was with a nod towards the Test squad which will be named next week. England are looking at ways to address their recent poor record overseas and think Stone’s extra pace could be valuable. The same, of course, can apply to the one-day squad and he has benefited from Liam Plunkett’s absence due to his wedding clashing with the ODIs. Jake Ball, who played occasionally this season, is also injured while Stone has jumped ahead of Craig Overton, who made his debut against Australia, due to his extra pace.

Could he still make the World Cup squad?

He probably has only an outside chance of being in the final 15 given how settled and strong England’s one-day side has become. Plunkett has been a key figure in that line-up so can expect to slot back in for the final two matches in Sri Lanka – although he will know that foregoing his place in this team is a risk, as many of his batting colleagues have discovered in recent months. David Willey will also expect to be included when he overcomes the back injury which has ruled him out of this tour. The Curran brothers – Tom and Sam – will also be vying for positions.



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