Double trouble: Overtons aim for twin England first

AFP
Published Jun 16, 2015, 6:35 pm IST
Updated Mar 28, 2019, 8:50 pm IST
Craig and Jamie Overton could feature in remaining two fixtures against New Zealand
All-rounder Craig Overton was summoned on Saturday after Chris Jordan was ruled out of the rest of the series with a side injury. And fast bowler Jamie Overton got his chance on Monday following Yorkshire quick Liam Plunkett's series-ending thigh
 All-rounder Craig Overton was summoned on Saturday after Chris Jordan was ruled out of the rest of the series with a side injury. And fast bowler Jamie Overton got his chance on Monday following Yorkshire quick Liam Plunkett's series-ending thigh

London: Craig and Jamie Overton moved a step closer to becoming the first set of twins to play international cricket for England after they both received call-ups into the one-day squad for the ongoing series with New Zealand.

The 21-year-olds could both feature in the remaining two fixtures of the five-match series, in Nottingham on Wednesday and Chester-le-Street on Saturday, after their late inclusion in the 50-over squad.

 

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All-rounder Craig was summoned on Saturday after Chris Jordan was ruled out of the rest of the series with a side injury. And fast bowler Jamie got his chance on Monday following Yorkshire quick Liam Plunkett's series-ending thigh strain.

Both of the Overtons, who play for Somerset, are uncapped at international level but now have a chance to help England recover from a 2-1 deficit in a five-match series following World Cup finalists New Zealand's three-wicket win at Hampshire's Rose Bowl on Sunday.

"It's been an interesting week for all of us. I gave Craig a ring and said I'd see him in Nottingham. Then I spoke to our parents and obviously they are very happy as well," added Jamie Overton, the younger of the two brothers by three minutes.

 

Jamie Overton has appeared in just 14 senior one-day or List A county matches, where his 20 wickets have come at a respectable average of 27 apiece. Craig, on the other hand has played 15 List A matches and while his figures may not be that impressive -- he averages just 10.54 with the bat and 54.20 with the ball -- he is regarded as one of the most promising young talents in the English game.

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No pair of twins have yet featured in a senior England cricket team, but the Waugh twins, Stephen and Mark, were mainstays of the successful Australia side of the 1990s and early 2000s, while New Zealand's Hamish and James Marshall also played international cricket.

 

Read: The Waugh brothers turn 50, cheers mate

But the Overtons have been closing in on an England place in recent seasons.  Jamie was a member of England's squad for the home ODI series against Australia in 2013, while Craig was selected for the second-string Lions tour of South Africa last year before returning home early with an ankle injury.

Last month they demonstrated their potential with a quick-fire last-wicket stand of 76 in just 5.5 overs against county champions Yorkshire at Taunton. "Craig's been bowling fantastically and his call-up was rightly deserved," said Jamie, generally the quicker bowler of the pair and the more aggressive batsman.

 

"I saw a stat the other day that he's the only player in the country who's taken 20 wickets at less than 20 as well as scoring 200 runs, which shows he's one of the best all-rounders (in England)," he added.

Meanwhile Craig said Jamie was equally deserving of his call-up into the squad. "Jamie has been bowling quick. None of the (Somerset) boys have been looking forward to facing him in the nets, put it that way -- especially me, because he always gives me a bit of extra brotherly love," he said.

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The brothers have been playing cricket together from the age of five and appeared for North Devon, their father's club, before making their way to Taunton. Yet they have only been on the same first-class side on nine occasions.

"Most of the time with Somerset it's seemed like only one of us has been picked, or one or the other of us has been injured," Craig said.

While England have fielded several sets of brothers throughout their history, none of them have been twins. It is some 60 years since there was a possibility of twins playing for England, when Alec and Eric Bedser were in the all-conquering Surrey side of the 1950s.

 

Alec Bedser, arguably England's greatest fast-medium bowler, played in 51 Tests but Eric, an off-spinner and opening batsman, made more than 450 Surrey appearances without being capped by his country.

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