THERE won’t be a prouder dad in the crowd than Mark Overton if son Craig is in the England side for the Ashes opener against Australia in Brisbane on Thursday.
Overton senior and wife Helen are taking an extended break from their business interests in North Devon to be in Australia for the start of the Ashes series.
Somerset fast bowler Craig Overton did his chances no harm by taking wickets in the warm-up games against Cricket Australia last week.
There are no guarantees Craig will be playing in the first Test, but mum and dad don’t want to risk missing their son’s international debut.
“We can’t be sure Craig will play, but if he does it will be another step on a long ladder that started when he was about two and I was throwing a cricket ball at the boys in the front room,” said Mark, referring to Craig’s twin Jamie.
“You never dream you will have a son who plays for England when they first start out, you just want them to enjoy playing cricket.
“Even when they get to 16-17 and Somerset were looking at them both, you only hope there is a chance they might make it as First Class cricketers.
“Both boys have had their problems with injuries over the past few years and have had to fight back from them. Craig missed an entire season due to a stress fracture, which leaves you and him on edge.
“If Craig is selected for England it will be a proud moment for us, for the clubs he has played for and the people who have helped him, especially North Devon CC.”
The ‘boys’ refers to Craig’s twin Jamie, who has been on a very similar journey to his brother since either of them was old enough to catch a ball.
While Craig is out in Australia with the main squad, Jamie is warming up for England fast-bowling camps in Spain and South Africa either side of Christmas.
If the camps go well Jamie could be selected for the England Lions tour to the Caribbean in the New Year.