Josh Tongue is certainly the leading cricket player that hails from Redditch currently. He is an out-and-out fast bowler that is on the fringes of the England 50-overs national team ahead of the ICC World Cup this year.
England will head into the World Cup as reigning champions, after winning their home tournament at Lords in 2019.
Tongue could be a World Cup wildcard option
The level of competition in the England 50-overs team is stronger than ever. Experienced bowlers such as Moeen Ali and Jofra Archer are key parts of the squad, and Tongue certainly faces no easy task to earn a place in the World Cup roster.
Injuries could potentially force England’s hand, especially with the likes of Archer’s reputation to miss significant periods of action due to fitness woes.
Few will forget Jofra Archer’s debut year in international cricket, thanks to his heroics at the 2019 World Cup win and his explosion into Test cricket.
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) October 31, 2021
Tongue has averaged a bowling strike rate of 25.7 in test cricket this year, and would be a fine option to take to the World Cup. England are priced at 16/5 in the Paddy Power cricket odds to defend their crown this year, and taking Tongue to India would certainly not harm their chances.
England have a huge amount of quality depth in the national pool at present. Many unfortunate players that are at the top of their game will not feature in the squad this year. However, in the future when veterans such as vice-captain Ali retire, there will be room for future greats to begin to mark their legacy on the national team.
Tongue has been on the edge of the England roster for many years now, he has performed excellently in test cricket, and if does not earn his break this year, he will surely establish himself as a key England bowler by the time the 2027 ICC World Cup comes around.
His career so far
Despite not yet establishing himself as an England regular in 50-overs cricket, Tongue has enjoyed an impressive career in the sport overall so far.
He burst onto the scene in 2017 as one of England’s most exciting bowling prospects, and this year he finally got a chance to showcase his talent on a huge platform.
He was awarded his debut in a one-off test match against Ireland at Lords in June. Tongue’s five wickets were significant as England secured victory, as covered by Reuters.
— ICC (@ICC) June 30, 2023
Tongue got his first taste of the Ashes this year too, as he replaced Ali due to injury – a similar fate could be awarded to him if England’s regular bowlers suffer injury issues ahead of the World Cup this year.
At the county cricket level, Tongue spent his entire career with Worcestershire up until making the switch to Nottinghamshire in July. He has also played in The Hundred tournament for Manchester Originals.
Tongue simply has all the makings of one of the best bowlers in the game. Whether he joins up with England to defend their world champion status this summer, or he has to wait for his break. He will certainly end his career having made a huge impact on his national team.
England is well equipped to maintain their quality in bowling beyond the retirement of the likes of Ali. Tongue is set to play a huge part in the future of English cricket.