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Tuesday June 25, 2024

England’s Tongue enjoying ‘chilled’ environment

By AFP
June 06, 2023

LONDON: Josh Tongue relished being involved in England´s "chilled" environment after a promising Test debut led to the fast bowler´s Ashes call-up. Tongue was a late addition to England´s squad to face Ireland in last week´s four-day Test against Ireland because of fitness concerns over James Anderson and Ollie Robinson.

But having being selected in the side, the Worcestershire player took five wickets in the second innings on his Test debut to secure a coveted place on the Lord´s honours board. The 25-year-old topped speeds of 91 mph and on Saturday he was included in England´s 16-man squad for the first two Ashes Tests against Australia. "I´m really proud. It´s a special moment for myself," said Tongue after his 5-66 helped England to a 10-wicket win inside three days.

Tongue added he had been made to feel welcome quickly in the England set-up by captain Ben Stokes and coach Brendon McCullum. "Being around this group, it´s a very exciting time to be an England cricketer and obviously supporter as well," he said. "I knew this environment would improve myself and my game. It´s not daunting. Everyone is very welcoming, Brendon is really nice.

"It´s very chilled, there is no pressure on you at all, just go out and do the business and enjoy yourself." Tongue, who nearly retired after 15 months on the sidelines with a nerve problem in his shoulder, could now find himself in England´s XI for the first Test against Australia at Edgbaston on June 16.