CRAIG and Jamie Overton may be about to become the first set of twins ever to play together for England after their call-ups to the Royal London Series squad.
The 21-year-olds will prompt double-takes for a new set of team-mates and supporters at the final two one-day internationals against New Zealand in Nottingham and Durham.
Only two days ago, the identical Overtons had no such plans, travelling on Somerset’s team bus to Glamorgan when Craig was the first to take a call from national selector James Whitaker asking him instead to report for duty with England in Southampton as cover for the injured Chris Jordan.
Less than 48 hours later, it was Jamie – the younger twin by three minutes – who answered his phone to Whitaker and was told he, too, was needed, as a replacement for Liam Plunkett.
Jamie was immediately on the line again to big brother to let him know they would be in the same squad as England seek to battle back from 2-1 down against the Kiwis.
The quicker bowler and harder-hitting batsman of the pair, Jamie’s assessment of the far-fetched turn of events tended towards understatement.
“It’s been an interesting week for all of us,” he said, having had to break off during two second-team matches away to Middlesex and set off up the M1. “I gave Craig a ring and said I’d see him in Nottingham. Then I spoke to our parents and they are very happy as well.”
The Overtons have been edging closer to England’s plans for the past three seasons, Jamie part of the squad for an ODI series at home to Australia in 2013 and Craig forced to leave the Lions tour of South Africa last winter with an ankle injury. They hit the headlines this summer too in a spectacular last-wicket stand against county champions Yorkshire at Taunton last month.
Even so, their dual promotion could not easily have been predicted.
Meanwhile, Moises Henriques faces dental surgery and a further 24 hours in hospital but Surrey team-mate Rory Burns is close to being discharged following the pair’s on-field collision on Sunday.
The players were knocked unconscious when they collided going for a high catch in a NatWest T20 Blast game against Sussex, receiving ambulance treatment for around 40 minutes before the match was abandoned.
Australia all-rounder Henriques broke his jaw in three places, while Burns had blood pouring from cuts above and below his left eye. A club statement issued late yesterday read: “The latest update from the hospital is that Rory is expected to be discharged this afternoon. Moises will be spending another 24 hours in hospital and will require further dental surgery. Both of the boys are in good spirits and bearing up well.”
Director of cricket Alec Stewart, who has spent much of the past 24 hours with the injured pair, added: “The attention both lads have received from the hospital and the medical teams at both Surrey and Sussex CCC has been top class.
“I would also like to thank all our fans and the wider cricketing family for their thoughts and messages. They are very much appreciated by the lads and everyone at the club.”
The collision occurred halfway through the 19th over, which was bowled by Tom Curran, when Sussex batsman Steffan Piolet launched a huge top edge into the off side. Henriques and Burns were about 20 yards apart before they collided at full pace going for the ball.
Henriques was struck by his team-mate’s knee before both fell face down, with medical staff from each club quickly out on to the pitch. They were soon joined by an off-duty doctor who had been watching the match.
Both needed oxygen treatment and three ambulances were called on to the pitch before they left the ground. The players were able to offer a thumbs-up to sympathetic spectators before being taken to St Richards’ Hospital in Chichester, where they underwent surgery overnight.