Josh Tongue earns maiden England call-up for one-off Test against Ireland

London, May 24 (IANS) England on Wednesday picked uncapped seamer Josh Tongue in their Test squad, which is set to face Ireland in a one-off Test match starting at Lords from June 1, with the side facing injury concerns around pacers James Anderson and Ollie Robinson.

The 25-year old Tongue has impressed for several seasons in domestic competition for Worcestershire and was part of the England Lions tour of Sri Lanka earlier this year and featured prominently in the red ball part of that series, especially taking 5/34 and 3/77 against Sri Lanka A.

“We have been monitoring Josh (Tongue) 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,” said Luke Wright, England Men’s National Selector, in an official statement.

Tongue has come through the Worcestershire pathways from junior ranks and represented the club at all levels. As of now, he has taken 162 wickets in 47 first-class matches for Worcestershire, including 11 in the ongoing season of the County Championship.

The pacer will join up with the rest of the England squad this weekend.

Meanwhile, Ireland also confirmed a change to their squad for the Test against England, with Matthew Foster called up after Conor Olphert was forced to withdraw due to his rehabilitation from an early knee injury not completing in time.

The Ireland squad, led by Andrew Balbirnie, will depart for England on Wednesday to participate in a three-day warm-up match against Essex at Chelmsford, which begins from May 26.

–IANS

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