April 10, 1994, Barnstaple, Devon
Right hand Bat
Right arm Fast
West Buckland School
It did not take long for Jamie Overton to attract the attention of England's selectors. Blessed with unusual pace and height (he is 6ft 5ins), Overton was called into the England squad for the ODI series against Australia at the end of 2013 aged just 19 and with only 13 List A games behind him.
Although he did not play, it was clear that Overton had made a strong impression on England's bowling coach at the time, David Saker, while representing Somerset against the touring Australians and had been identified as one for the future. Some, such as former England captain Mike Atherton, suggested he could be an outside bet for a place in the Ashes tour that winter and a haul of 6 for 95 against Middlesex in May 2013 did his claim no harm. Instead he was chosen for the Lions tour of Sri Lanka that winter, but was obliged to pull out due to a knee injury.
Injuries restricted the progress of this goliath of a cricketer, but even if he could look cumbersome on the days when his rhythm went awry, on song he was as fast as any bowler in the country.
Three minutes younger than his twin, Craig, Jamie has generally been regarded as quicker but less accurate. Both were called into England's one-day squad against New Zealand in 2015 as injury replacements, briefly encouraging excitement that, at 21, they could become the first twins to represent England in an international match, the closest that England ever came to that being the time Eric Bedser joined Sir Alec in a tour game in Tasmania on the 1950/51 tour of Australia.
Both twins progressed through the Devon ranks and, having graduated to first team club cricket at Instow CC the age of 14, were monitored by Somerset from the time they were 15. Mixing the odd jaffa with a liberal sprinkling of short and wide deliveries, Jamie evoked memories of Andre van Troost when he first appeared in the Somerset first team as a gangly 18-year-old. He made his England U19 debut in 2011, his first-class debut in May 2012, a few weeks after Craig, then played for England U19s in the World Cup in Australia and toured South Africa with the same squad. A spell of bowling against Australia in Townville in which he exceeded 150kph attracted attention. He made his Lions debut in August 2013.
Overton's belligerence occasionally came with the bat as well. He could hit a long ball, but had little patience, making his occasional half-centuries a rare treat. One of the most entertaining forays came in a stand 69 in 57 balls against Warwickshire for the 10th-wicket with his brother in 2014. A half-century in 18 balls against Yorkshire at Taunton the following year was the fastest Championship half-century for a No. 11 since balls were officially recorded and once again Craig was at the other end.
Both Overtons were called up a an England Performance Programme fast bowling camp in South Africa as 2015 neared its close, their careers still progressing hand in hand. Jamie was named in one newspaper headline as England's hottest property - sadly, if he read down the page, the headline writer had mixed him up with his brother.
Some rapid spells followed in 2016, with the suggestion of improved accuracy, too, before a back stress fracture ended his season in July and left him aiming to recover fitness in time to join an England Lions fast bowling camp in South Africa. A back injury again intervened a year later.
Injuries explained why the Overtons rarely teamed up together. A matchwinning effort against Yorkshire in the Championship at Headingley was one exception, onced again encouraging west country hopes that the Overtons could stand alongside the Currans (both Surrey players had by now won England honours) as famous cricketing brothers.
Batting & Fielding