Overton twins set to make England cricket history

Brothers FacebookCraig and Jamie Overton could be reunited in historic fashion this afternoon by becoming the first twins to play together for England in the one-day international against New Zealand at Trent Bridge.

The twins were called separately into the England one-day squad over the weekend as Chris Jordan and Liam Plunkett were both ruled out through injury.

The brothers were together on the Somerset team coach heading for Somerset’s NatWest T20 Blast match against Glamorgan on Saturday afternoon when Craig took a call on his mobile from selector James Whitaker asking him to head to Southampton.

In the event Craig acted as 12th man in the third one-day international, but 36 hours later it was Jamie’s turn to get a call from Whitaker on Sunday night and he didn’t waste any time before speaking to his brother.

“I gave Craig a ring and said I’d see him in Nottingham,” Jamie told ecb.co.uk

“Then I spoke to our parents, and obviously they are very happy as well. It was a bit different when Craig got the call on Saturday because he didn’t have the right kit with him, so he had to ring up Dad and arrange to get picked up and taken down to Southampton. It’s been an interesting week for all of us.”

Jamie was the first of the brothers to receive a senior England call, during the one-day series against Australia late in the last Ashes summer of 2013 when they were only 19, although he did not make it into the final XI.

Craig and Jamie in their England kit could both make their England debuts this afternoon.
Craig and Jamie in their England kits could both make their England debuts this afternoon.

Craig played for England Lions last summer, but was forced home early from the tour to South Africa in the winter with an ankle injury at around the same time that Jamie arrived in Potchefstroom to train with the England Performance Programme.

The pair have both started the 2015 season impressively, although they have only played together once – in the LV=Championship match against Yorkshire at Taunton in which they shared an electrifying last-wicket partnership of 76 from 35 balls.

“Craig’s been bowling fantastically, and his call-up was rightly deserved,” said Jamie. “I saw a stat the other day that he’s the only player in the country who’s taken 20 wickets at less than 20 as well as scoring 200 runs, which shows he’s one of the best all-rounders in the country.”

Craig was equally complimentary. “Jamie has been bowling quick,” he said. “None of the boys have been looking forward to facing him in the nets, put it that way – especially me, because he always gives me a bit of extra brotherly love.”

Yet because of injuries, the pair have only played together in nine first-class matches in their careers so far.

“Most of the time with Somerset it’s seemed like only one of us has been picked, or one or other of us has been injured,” Craig told ecb.co.uk. “But we’ve been playing together since we were about five years old, so we still know each other’s games pretty well.”

“We started off together at North Devon, which was our dad’s cricket club,” Jamie explained. “We came through the age groups together and then we both signed for Somerset at about the same time, just before we went off to the Under-19 World Cup.”

Craig said: “I think we’re in single rooms with England, but Somerset usually split us up anyway. We get on pretty well, but you know what brothers are like.”

“I’ve probably always been a bit more the outgoing one,” Jamie reflected “He’s been more consistent as a bowler, and he’s technically the better batsman. But I’d like to think I’ve settled down a bit this year.”

We wish them well as the prepare hopefully to make their England debuts together.