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Plom relishing England Under-19 tour

PUBLISHED: 08:00 06 October 2017

Essex's Jack Plom (pic Nick Wood/Unshaken Photography)

Essex's Jack Plom (pic Nick Wood/Unshaken Photography)

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Shenfield and Essex’s latest international representative, Jack Plom, almost missed his initial call-up for England duty when he ignored the insistent ringing of his mobile phone.

Plom, who was this week named in the 18-strong under-19 party for next month’s tour to South Africa, let the call go to answerphone before finally picking it up.

The 18-year-old fast bowler said: “I was actually just chilling at home with the family in the middle of the summer when David Graveney [the ECB’s national performance manager] rang. At first I just let it ring because sometimes I don’t answer if no name or ID comes up.

“At first I thought I’d just leave it, but I had a voicemail and decided to listen to it. It was David Graveney and could I get in contact with him straight away please because he had some good news for me.

“So I rang him straight back and he gave me the news they wanted me to play against India.”

Plom sat out the second Test but was included in an Invitational XI to face the tourists at Loughborough University.

It was a seminal moment as he took 6-25 in the first innings, the best figures of his fledgling career, and went on to play three of the five subsequent one-day internationals.

He added: “Sometimes you bowl well and take no wickets, and sometimes you don’t bowl particularly well and take loads of wickets. Luckily for me it was my day. It was a proud moment taking six wickets and making a name for myself.”

Now Plom is preparing for his first overseas tour when England take on South Africa and Namibia in a triangular series in Potchefstroom before the announcement of the squad for the under-19 World Cup in New Zealand at the start of the New Year.

There was a training get-together last weekend and he heads to Desert Springs in Spain at the end of the month for a three-day camp before packing for South Africa.

“I’m taking it stage-by-stage,” he said. “Hopefully I will do well in South Africa and look forward to going to New Zealand, if picked, and do really well out there. Hopefully I’ll have a career with Essex, that’s the long-term goal.”

Plom is not an unknown quantity around the Essex dressing room, having been a regular in the second XI during the summer and trained with the first team since the age of 15 when he joined the Academy.

He even carried out 12th-man duties as a “water boy” at Chelmsford this season “to get the feel of what it’s like to be a professional cricketer”.

Chris Silverwood took a shine to the young man after an under-15 tournament in which Plom emerged as top wicket-taker and was invited to a fast-bowling camp led by the Essex head coach.

Plom added: “Essex are a great club to be at, they’re not afraid to put the young players out on the field. As a young bowler coming through they will give you opportunities if they think you’re ready for it. Hopefully I’ll have a good winter and be fit for pre-season and get a few chances.

“Throughout last winter I spoke to Jamie Porter about my bowling and he gave me plenty of advice and confidence. He’s an excelling bowler and an excellent person as well. It’s amazing what the Academy has produced with the likes of Sam Cook, Dan Lawrence and Aaron Beard coming through.”

Plom could hardly have ignored the siren call of cricket with a family of father and two elder brothers steeped in the game and all now playing at Essex Premier League club Shenfield.

Plom junior left South Essex College this year and admitted: “Through college and school I always put my cricket first and concentrated on that. But at Essex they always encourage young players to consider their education as well and make sure they’re not falling behind with it.

“I’ve got some good qualifications so if cricket doesn’t go well, or if I change careers later in life, I’ll have something to fall back on.”

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