Yorkshire’s Liam Plunkett has described his shock at being recalled to England’s Test squad after a seven-year absence.
The last of the 29-year-old Middlesbrough fast bowler’s nine Tests came against the West Indies at Old Trafford in June 2007, with a loss in form prompting a move from Durham at the end of 2012.
Plunkett has also hailed the faith shown in him by his Yorkshire coaches and team-mates after his inclusion in a 12-man squad for next Thursday’s first of two Tests against Sri Lanka at Lord’s.
Yorkshire colleagues Gary Ballance and Joe Root have also been included.
“The selection did come as a shock,” said Plunkett, who has bowled some devastatingly quick spells this summer on the way to 24 LV= County Championship wickets from seven matches.
“I was aware of all the talk over the past couple of weeks from pundits and the media that I would be in the frame, but I didn’t really believe in that.
“I was on my way back from Tim Bresnan’s benefit golf day yesterday when I got the call, and it felt good.
“I have to thank the coaches and players at Yorkshire for having faith in me as a cricketer. Before joining, I was going nowhere. Coming to Headingley gave me a new lease of life.
“I have benefited from a change in scenery and from a coaching staff that have put faith in my ability. Dizzy (Jason Gillespie) and Frog (Martyn Moxon) gave me confidence to believe in my ability to go out and perform.”
Plunkett will miss tomorrow night’s NatWest T20 Blast clash with Lancashire Lightning at Emirates Old Trafford and Sunday’s Championship match against Nottinghamshire at Headingley.
Rich Pyrah is expected to make his first four-day appearance of the season as a result.
England squad for the first Investec Test: A Cook (captain), M Ali, J Anderson, G Ballance, I Bell, S Broad, C Jordan, L Plunkett, M Prior (wicketkeeper) S Robson, J Root, C Woakes.