London, June 2 (IANS) Worcestershire seamer Josh Tongue on Thursday made his England Test debut against Ireland at the Lord’s and helped earn a whopping 50,000 pounds to a family friend — Tim Piper — who placed an unlikely bet 14 years ago.
Tongue was drafted into England’s squad as injury cover for James Anderson and Ollie Robinson, having impressed for the England Lions when they toured Sri Lanka last weekend.
The 25-year-old was a surprise pick for the Ireland Test, having been selected ahead of veteran Chris Woakes.
Piper, who played cricket with Tongue’s father Phil at their local club Redditch, is set for a huge payout after placing 100 pounds on him to play Test cricket for England when he was just 11 at odds of 500-1.
“I’ve kept the bet slip in a cupboard all these years. I just thought to myself ‘it must be worth £100’. If he doesn’t make it, he’d make us proud anyway. This is just a bonus for him to get in the Test team,” Piper told BBC Sport.
Piper first saw Tongue in action when he joined his father at Redditch Cricket Club as a child, but it was not as a seamer that he impressed Piper.
“It was amazing. There was this little kid who bowled leg-spin, googlies and top-spinners. It was like Shane Warne,” he added.