The meteoric rise of Jake Ball

Sudipta / 12 May 2016
The meteoric rise of Jake Ball

The England and Wales Cricket Board selectors took a brave step to try two new faces in the  built up to their home series against Sri Lanka starting on June  19.  James Vince , the Hamshire captain, and a 25-year right-hand medium seamer Jake Ball selected as a backup bowler for the three-match Test series.

Vince already is already well-known face to English cricket, but rookie Ball has been considered as the new young prospect of England’s reputation bowling attack comprised of James Anderson, Stuart Broad, and Ben Stokes.

Ball, who name is itself unique, has the potential to mesmerize the world. With England won their last overseas tour in South Africa Ball has a good chance to make his international debut against a weak Sri Lankan team.

His journey to the three lions of England started in 2015 when he played a sizzling season as he took 39 County Championship wickets and rewarded when he called up England selectors for England Development Programme for fast bowlers and given a chance on an England’s tour of Pakistan as a net bowler.

Ball, 25, has a long relationship with cricket. He is the nephew of former England and Nottinghamshire wicketkeeper Bruce French.  Ball’s love for the game grew listening his uncle’s contribution to cricket.

The tall and scrawny seam bowler got required guidance from Bruce and joined the same county his uncle played for.  Ball started his England career as a U-19 player. As a U-19 player, he ripped apart Sri Lankan colts with a figure of 5 for 64 in 2010 U-19 Test matches.

The Nottinghamshire debut happened in 2009 when the former  took on Sussex in a Pro40 match at Hove. Ball claimed Rory Hamilton as his first senior wicket.

However, his first class debut happened only in 2011. Nottinghamshire took on MCC in a County Championship match in Abu Dhabi. The ball took three wickets conceding 72 runs. Most of his County matches are One Day in which he impressed  enough as a result he was announced the Nottinghamshire player of the year in 2012. His impressive performance also helped to get a contract extension.

So far Ball’s best ever spell in 4 for 25 against in the semi-final against Somerset. His spell was too much for Somerset as  they beaten by some distance.

But ball suffered an injury that deprived him of tasting the first ever high octane match of his life. But he was satisfied as his semifinal deeds worked for the Notts as they went on to beat Glamorgan to lift the  One Day Silverware after 20 years.

However, on a sad note, his rising career was disrupted in 2014 by a broken foot. Though he his name was not on the first list of Nottinghamshire for 2016 season his overwhelming return in 2015 season earned him the England call for fast bowling development camp. Now he selected for the Test series against Sri Lanka. He has least chance to make a debut until anyone of the great bowlers receive injury.