Worcestershire all-rounder Ed Barnard has earned his first call-up by England Lions for the remainder of the Tri-Series with India A and West Indies A next week.
Barnard found out the news from County Head Coach Kevin Sharp half an hour after the end of the 202 run win over Lancashire in the Specsavers County Championship in which he had taken nine wickets.
He then phoned back National Selector Ed Smith who confirmed that Barnard has been chosen for Tuesday’s match with India A at Leicester and Thursday’s game with West Indies A at Northampton.
It means he will be unavailable for the Championship match with Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge which gets underway on Monday at 2pm.
Barnard enjoyed an excellent 2017 campaign, scoring nearly 600 Championship runs, and taking 47 wickets, and he has continued in the same vein this season.
In addition to his nine wickets against Lancashire, Barnard returned career best figures of 6-37 against Somerset at Taunton and match figures of 11-89.
He has also made crucial lower order runs on a regular basis.
Barnard has been added into the Lions squad as a replacement for injured Somerset paceman Craig Overton.
He said: “It’s my first Lions call-up and I’m very proud. It is said a lot but anytime you get the chance to represent your country is an honour and a privilege.
“To get the call yesterday (Saturday) was very nice and especially to top off with what was a great day with the win for Worcestershire (over Lancashire).
“I got the call about half an hour after I came off the pitch. I had a missed call so I rang Ed Smith back and he said I’d been picked to play the last couple of games of the Tri-Series and then maybe the final.
“I’ll be going this evening (Sunday) to Leicester, train on Monday and we’ve India A on Tuesday and West Indies A on Thursday at Northampton with the final if we get through on July 2.
“Kevin Sharp (Worcestershire Head Coach) said congratulations and that he was very proud and said all the club think it is brilliant that it has happened.
“It has always been an ambition of mine. I’ve said before that I want to play as high as I can. It’s not something I’ve really thought about.
“I wanted to do as well as I can for Worcestershire. We’ve had Leachy (Joe Leach) and Tonguey (Josh Tongue) out of the attack through injuries and it’s been really important the rest of us step up and fill their shoes.”
Sharp said: “I’m really pleased for Ed. It is a selection that is well merited and he showed again in this game what a fine asset he is to Worcestershire.
“He has really developed as a player into an excellent cricketer since I first worked with him in the Second Eleven and is becoming a fine bowler and also a batsman who I feel sure will eventually move up the order.
“It is a blow for us at Nottingham, especially with the injuries we currently have, but you have to get on with it and there is an opportunity for someone else to step up.”