Overton twins team up for England
England have called up Somerset fast bowler Jamie Overton to their ODI squad for the remaining two ODIs against New Zealand. Jamie joins his brother Craig in the squad and presents the prospect of England fielding twins in the same match for the first time.
Jamie Overton, the 21-year-old from Devon, replaces Liam Plunkett who has been ruled out of the series with a thigh strain having played the first two matches of the series. Craig Overton replaced Chris Jordan who was also injured after the second ODI.
These are selections based on future potential rather than performance, exciting in the recognition of might one day be achieved, but it would be possible to advance a case that they are illogical and lacking credibility if county statistics are to be given any credence. Perhaps England are just taking a development check. After all, building for the 2019 World Cup is the mantra.
Somerset have rarely seen them in the same side together, partly because of injuries, partly because they remain inconsistent performers, although they did combine to devastating effect for the first time this season against Yorkshire last month. Even so, for them both to be called up by England in the same match before their county careers are barely established would be startling.
Jamie is a bowler of genuine pace and imposing height at six-foot-five. He was first called up to the England squad against Australia in August 2013 but was not handed a debut. That winter he was picked for England Lions but was forced to pull out of the tour because of a knee injury.
Jamie's 2014 was also hampered by injury and when he did return could not win a place back in Somerset's first XI and ended up back playing club cricket in Devon but he did spent time during the winter with the England Performance Programme and made a promising start to this season. But after a series of impressive spells, picked up another problem during the Middlesex Championship match at the end of April and was forced back on the sidelines.
His ability with the white ball is less obvious. He has played only 14 List A matches and has taken 20 wickets at 27.00 with an economy rate of 6.27. He began the season with six wickets in three County Championship matches but with the white ball has proved expensive, conceding 128 runs in 12 overs from four matches.
With Jamie missing from Somerset's County Championship side, Craig, with better all-round ability, was brought in and played a key role in his side's first victory of the season at Nottinghamshire, scoring a vital half-century and taking six wickets. But when both twins appeared against Yorkshire at the end of May they sent the cider pumps buzzing with a stand of 76 runs from only 5.5 overs - one of the few times they have both played together for Somerset.
Craig himself has struggled with injuries, missing almost all of 2013 but bounced back to win a place on the England Lions tour to South Africa in January this year, only to have to come home early because of an ankle injury that eventually required surgery - something he says was actually a blessing in disguise. He has only appeared in the County Championship this summer yet could be in line for a one-day international debut this week, possibly alongside his twin.
Their father Mark has played cricket for many years for North Devon CC, where they first knocked up on the outfield at Instow. When they began to play, it was Jamie who became the threatening fast bowler while Craig's qualities seemed more rounded with both bat and ball. They were educated at West Buckland School, where one of the most iconic West Country cricketers, Harold Gimblett was also educated.
If they ever play together, they might even one day outrank the Bedsers in English folkore. But only one of the Bedsers made it an international level, a reminder that sometimes achievement falls unevenly on twins. it was Alec who became one of England's great bowling stalwarts in the post-war years, with his brother Eric only playing for England in a practice game against Tasmania on England's 1950-51 tour of Australia.